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Rodeo to Hit Milestone

They are pricey pork futures at the rodeo. Nationwide economic woes do not deter record prices paid for the Junior Market Barrow Grand and Reserve Grand Champions. In fact, officials at rodeo Houston say this year’s run will wind up setting an all time record for attendance. Pat Hernandez has more.



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A packed house of buyers, exhibitors, their family and the public saw history in the making in the sale of the junior market barrow grand champion.

“Sold it to you…176-thousand dollars. That is a new world record.”

One of the buyers told announcer Boyd Polemus:

“The reason why we do this, these fine young people, these are the kids we wanna see running this country in the future. When I get those pictures coming back when they’re graduating from college, that’s why we do this.”

Boyd Polemus: “God bless you for doing it. Thank you so much.”

The reserve champ also set a new record too when it sold for 115-thousand dollars. But the animal sales are only one aspect of the 78th running of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that’s pleasing officials including LeRoy Shafer, the chief operating officer.

“The only place we’re not gonna set a record is in the total auction money, but every one of them is over last year. With the exception of the steers, we’ve set a world record in every category. But when we look beyond that, we’re not even through yet, but we’ve already blown away our all time paid rodeo attendance record, which was one million, 215-thousand. We’re over one million, 250-thousand rodeo tickets sold right now.”

He says he’s even more excited about the overall number of people attending the rodeo.

“We know we’re gonna break our general attendance record which we set last year at one million, 890 thousand, 233. We’re gonna break two million people. I never dreamed that we would get to two million people, particularly in this economy.”

Shafer says the rodeo’s good fortune happened even with the unusual weather that hit before the start.

“It was rainy, cold, sleet, ice, snow all winter long, and suddenly BAM. We had three weeks of great weather and people were ready to get out of the house, they were ready to come out and have fun and the weather facilitated that. We will have another star lineup, I don’t know if it’s next year or the next or the next that equals this one, and this is the best start lineup I’ve been associated with my 37-years here, but we’ll have one, and people will be ready to come out and support us.”

Shafer says fans come out because the rodeo offers great entertainment and at an affordable price, a fraction of what could be spent on a spring break vacation.

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