Local FFA members to exhibit top animals at 2002 Houston Livestock Show

The 2002 Houston Livestock Show marks the final year that FFA and 4-H youth exhibitors from across Texas will compete in Reliant Hall, and 2 FFA members from local schools, Nicole Cosakis (MacArthur High School) and Krystle Williams (Aldine High School) have entered animals that they raised in the Junior Show.

The junior show, which showcases the animal projects of FFA and 4-H exhibitors, begins livestock competition on Feb. 22. Professional breeders and ranchers will compete for top prize money and global recognition in the livestock industry during the first 10 days of the Show, beginning on Feb. 13.

Entries from both the open and junior shows, along with the horse show, combine to make the Houston Livestock Show the largest event of its kind in the world.

More than 16,000 entries, representing more than 1,000 Texas 4-H clubs and FFA chapters, will compete in this year’s junior show. A wide variety of animals will be shown in both the junior and open divisions of the livestock competition, including market steers, market barrows, market lambs, market goats, market poultry, beef and dairy heifers, breeding gilts, breeding sheep, dairy goats, llamas, commercial steers and breeding rabbits.

“The 2002 Houston Livestock Show will be an event exhibitors of all ages will never forget as we hold the world’s largest livestock show in Reliant Hall one last time,” said John Sykes, assistant general manager, Agricultural Exhibits and Competition Department. “For 37 years, Reliant Hall has been the place where generations of 4-H and FFA exhibitors have gathered for fellowship, friendship and competition. We look forward to continuing that tradition in the new Reliant Center in 2003.”
As supporters of the 2002 Show and the move into the new facilities, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is proud to welcome Reliant Energy and Ford as Heritage Partners.

The four market animal auctions (steer, lamb and goat, barrow and poultry) represent animals raised by exhibitors for food sources. The finest animals in each of these categories are eligible for their individual market auctions. In 2001, the Houston Livestock Show’s junior market auction sales totaled $6,297,573, including a record $600,000 paid for the Grand Champion Market Steer.

In addition to livestock competition, the Show plays host to one of the premier horse shows in the country. Cutting horse events begin the horse show competition on Tuesday, Feb. 12 The National Cutting Horse Association championship finals follow Feb. 14-17, as well as competition in six different breeds of horses: Appaloosa, Arabian, Half Arabian, Paint, Palomino and Quarter Horse, plus donkeys and mules.

The 2002 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 7, with the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, slated for Feb. 7-9, in the southwest Reliant Park parking lot. Go Texan weekend is Feb. 9-10, including contests, the downtown rodeo parade and the Conoco Rodeo Run.

On Friday, Feb. 8, high school seniors from across 60 Texas counties will be recognized with the presentation of the Area Go Texan scholarships.
The streets of downtown Houston will fill with the sounds of horses’ hooves, children’s laughter and marching bands on Saturday, Feb. 9, for the annual rodeo parade at 10 a.m. After traveling by horseback to Houston, thousands of trail riders will join the parade festivities. Prior to the parade, the Conoco 10K Rodeo Run will kick off its 15th year as approximately 5,000 runners make their way from downtown to Enron Field. All entry fees from the Rodeo Run are donated to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Fund.

Go Texan fun continues at Reliant Park with teams competing in dominoes, washer pitching and horseshoe pitching in Reliant Arena on Saturday. The team penning competition will take place in Reliant Arena on Sunday, Feb. 10. From Feb. 12 to March 3, the winning entries in the Go Texan quilt and photography contests will be displayed in the Western Heritage Gallery in Reliant Hall.

RodeoHousaton action takes off on Feb. 12 with 19 daily performances featuring outstanding PRCA action in the world’s richest regular-season rodeo, the world’s largest calf scramble, chuck wagon races, indoor fireworks and concert entertainment. Only the top 60 cowboys and cowgirls in the world are invited to compete in RodeoHouston’s seven PRCA and WPRA events – bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, bull riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and team roping. The exciting performance also includes entertainment by some of the music industry’s hottest artists. RodeoHouston finals will be held on Saturday, March 2.

On Sunday, March 3, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo fans, officials and volunteers say one last goodbye to the Reliant Astrodome with a concert finale. This sold-out event will feature country music superstar George Strait.

For an educational experience, Show visitors of all ages can enjoy the AG Venture Plaza, daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In the AG Venture Arena, children can learn about the sport of rodeo during rodeo education presentations and meet the cowboy competitors during weekday sessions. Youngsters also can participate in their own rodeo during the daily Stick Horse Rodeo. Additional entertainment in the arena includes the Super Scientific Circus, and The Doggies of the Wild West and Calamity Jo’s Magical Wild West Show.

For a mini-education in agriculture, visitors can check out Destination: AG Venture, a unique learning experience with interactive displays, live animals and friendly information from university personnel. Located in the East Wing of Reliant Hall, this exhibit is open daily from 9 am. to 9 p.m.