News

Trail Riders From Across Texas Journey To Memorial Park For Go Texan Day

The celebration unofficially kicks off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo season.

Thousands of trail riders descended on Memorial Park Friday to celebrate Go Texan Day, an annual celebration of Houston’s cow-town heritage. The celebration unofficially kicks off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo season.

For some, it’s an occasion to celebrate family and heritage. “We’re a family ride, very family-oriented,” said Joe Cantrell, who has led the Spanish Trail Ride for over 40 years.

This year, four generations of his family rode 65 miles over five days from Shepherd, Texas to Memorial Park in Houston, including his great-grandson, Clay Yates.

Cantrell said the annual ride celebrates Texas’ history.

“We need to keep the heritage of how our forefathers conquered this land,” Cantrell said.

Others, like Chinita Smith are drawn to the rodeo’s scholarship initiative. “It ultimately is an opportunity to raise funds to send students to school for higher education. That’s huge for me, it’s my passion,” she said. Smith has been around the rodeo for 20 years, and said she’s excited for the start of the rodeo season.

Every year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo distributes millions of dollars in scholarships, and it has committed to providing $14 million in scholarships in 2019. 

Riders come from all over Texas, with some coming from Louisiana. This year’s longest ride, the Mission Trail Ride, started in San Antonio.

The 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs from February 25 to March 17.

Share