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Cowboys trek through downtown to Rodeo kickoff
Published in 4-3-2014
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Tradition is the driving force behind many of the 3,000 cowboys who participate in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's Trail Ride, which ended Saturday as riders merged into the parade for the final stretch to the rodeo grounds. Riders rise at dawn, clean their campgrounds, feed the horses and prepare meals for a 6 a.m. departure on their journey from their hometown into Memorial Park. Some have spent the entire year, outside of their day jobs, planning details of the ride. The effort is well spent, said 55-year-old Ricky Nelson, who made the weeklong, 70-mile trek from Anderson in Grimes County with the Texas Cattleman's trail riders, one of 13 groups involved in this year's ride. "The most rewarding part of it is seeing the gratification and seeing the big smiles on the children's faces," Ramirez said. The group was started 41 years ago in 1973 by Ramirez's father, Larry, and David has been doing trail rides since the age of 12.