The tag line for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is “This Thing Is Legendary”. Over the years we have heard it over and over and again. This past Stock Show and Rodeo that ended on February 7th has certainly upheld that image.
It was the 119th anniversary of the Show with each and every year building on the previous year. It started on the North Side with area Cattlemen and Ranchers bringing what they felt were their prize winning animals to be appraised. During the early years the Rodeo was added. And from that came the birth of Bull Riding. That’s right, Bull Riding as a Rodeo sport started right here in Fort Worth.
In the late 40’s the Will Rogers Coliseum was constructed along with the show barns. During the mid-century years the show barn held all of the showing of the various breeds of cattle, swine, rabbits, lambs and such. The horse shows were done in the Coliseum and quite often during the Rodeo performances.
The later years of the century saw the building of the Watt Arena – where cattle are presently judged – and the John Justin Arena – where horse shows are done. In the future we will see another Coliseum added to the Will Rogers Memorial Complex. It will seat more people than the original but the original will still be used.
When this Examiner grew up here in Fort Worth the Rodeo and Stock Show was the biggest thing to hit the city. The traditional all-western parade was always held on Friday. That is until the FWISD recognized that absentee counts for that Friday every year. It was then moved to Saturday. In the old days the show had guest stars Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Robertson and the Sons of the Pioneers to name but a few.
During those days there would be an event followed by one of the Horse Shows. Fans in the stands were asked to test their horse knowledge with which horse would be named the winner – and there just might have been some wagering going on. The Horse Shows were filled with elaborate costumes. Western Pleasure classes were filed with saddles that were draped with silver. There were costumes of Arabian styles and English society.
But the Fort Worth Rodeo was traditional western rodeo and really didn’t need to have fancy artists of the time. They stay with the basic rodeo features of Bareback Bronc Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling and the ever popular – especially in Fort Worth – Bull Riding.
Then the Rodeo added the single most awarded sport – Team Roping. Texas natives Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith have won over seven million dollars in Team Roping. And this winning team won with the fastest combined time here in Fort Worth this year. The ladies were not excluded from the Rodeo with their Championship Barrel Racing.
If you think the Fort Worth Stock Show is not Legendary, then take a look at a Grand Champion steer bringing $240,000.00! For more information on this year’s show click on www.fwssr.com.