Texas State of Mind - lesson 2 - Rodeo and county

Trip Start Dec 16, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
Houston Livestock and Rodeo

Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, March 17, 2012

Finally we get to go to the main event in the Texan calendar... The Houston LIVESTOCK and RODEO SHOW. 3 weeks, 15 rodeo shows and concerts, a huge livestock show, millions of people.... this is the place to be and be seen.  


THE LIVESTOCK SHOW - awesome..... The livestock show was huge a bit like the Royal Welsh but huge and all indoors. There was a section for looking at the animals - where you could see various animals in various states of labour - I'm not kidding.

The exhibition we saw was on tractors. Kids from around Texas were exhibiting the tractors they'd renovated and the farming accessories they'd designed and built.  These things were so beautiful. This was all part of the agricultural classes they have at school.  They were so proud of them and really happy to talk until Chris asked if he could sit on one so I could take his photo - not amused is the phrase that comes to mind.  

THE RODEO - awesomeness.... bull riding, calf tie down, barrel racing, calf scramble, buckaroo. We had booked for the finals day where the top 8 in each category who had made it through the various heats and semi-finals were competing against each other for some really big prize money. The average first prize pot was 50,000 dollars and that was on-top of winnings they'd accumulated progressing through the rounds. The tension was defiantly palpable and all 50,000 or so of us watching loved every minute of it.  The commentator summed it up by 'saying.... (in a Texan drawl] I don't know what Texans love more baseball or rodeo but today it has to be RODEOOO" My favorite bit was the barrel racing -  because that was the event that the cowgirls got to take part in and also the calf scramble. The cutest or the cruelest event of the evening (depending on your point of view) involved parents placing their kids (ranging from 4 to 8) very carefully on the back of a sheep, and the telling them to hold on around the scruff of the neck for as long as they can while the sheep walks across the ring.  I didn't get any photos as I was queuing for a corn-dog but it was hilarious. I can't wait to start training my nieces and nephews...

The day was capped off with one of country's biggest stars or should I say 'SUPERSTAR'. Brad Paisley. People actually turned up just for this.

For the uninitiated (like me until a few days ago) some Brad facts:
1) His 9th studio album is titled simply - This is Country music and it is his most country of country albums - (we now own this)
2) He is Country Music Association's reigning Entertainer of the Year
3) He has won 14 CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year three times
4) has a record-setting five consecutive Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist honors
5) sold more than 12 million albums and scored 18 #1 hits at country radio.

A quote from his website about his songs....

In recording This Is Country Music, Paisley’s goal was not only to sonically capture the varied tones and textures of country music, but to lyrically reflect the lives of the people who love it.  He notes.  “In the title track, when I sing ‘This is real.  This is your life in a song,’ not every one of these songs will be you at this moment, but several, I guarantee, will be.  If they aren’t right now, a lot of them have the potential to be a story that applies to your life.  That’s our job in country music.”

What a great day - we love the rodeo and can't wait for it to roll into town next year.

P.S the 47th Academy of Country Music Awards are this weekend (April 1st) - Blake Shelton, another huge country star is hosting. He is currently a mentor on the Voice which is ace (you will all soon know what I mean as it is coming over to the UK soon unfortunatly I don't think Blake will be too).

Anyway, I sure as hell know who I'm gonna be voting for – GO BRAD…. And also Blake!
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