HOUSTON -

A member of the Northeastern Trail Riders died as the group was making its way to Houston.

Anthony Bruno, the group’s trail boss, told Local 2 that one of the riders, Robert "RD" Joe, 79, died Thursday morning.

"He was a founding member. His youngest son was born on the trail ride... his grandson is on the trail ride. All of his sons ride with us," said Bruno.

Bruno said as the riders were getting ready to leave in the morning from northeast Harris County, they believe RD suffered a heart attack.

He was taken to an area hospital where he died a few hours later. 

As members of the group continued on their way Thursday, Bruno sat in Joe's "China Gate" wagon. "We had to take a break. Some of us get emotional, breaking down.  We keep looking back and he's not here. It's a hard journey," said member Leola Brown.

The Northeastern Trail Riders are traveling to Houston for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo festivities.