This afternoon, 3,000 trail riders will have completed their journey for another year.
According to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, “Texas was once a land of many trails — the arteries that linked the outlying areas with settlements. The only transportation in the early days was powered by horse, mule or oxen, and many trails in different parts of the state were originally paths formed by the repetitive use of settlers. Stagecoach routes also helped establish more trails, and today’s highways are modern day versions of those same routes which connected the more populous areas of the state.”
Today 13, trail rides converge on Memorial Park after another almost 1,800 miles is covered.
“Today the first rides that enter into Memorial Park will be around 1 to 1:30 p.m., and they’ll funnel into Memorial all the way to around 3:30 or 4 o’clock,” says chairman Scott Bauman.
He says the awards ceremony will be at around 5 p.m.
“What we’re looking for is safety. That’s our biggest award we hand out. We have a Large Ride, a Medium Ride and a Small Ride. As they come into the park we have a Spirit Award.” The Large Trail Ride is comprised of groups with 145 or more participants; the Medium has between 50 and 144, and the Small 49 or less. All rides are led by a Trail Boss, the person responsible for ensuring safety. Many of the beautiful horses on the ride are rescues, and some of the wagons as old as three centuries. Some of the trail rides will distribute scholarships when they’re done.
It all culminates in the downtown parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. Major Applewhite, head football coach for the University of Houston, will be the grand marshal.