HOUSTON -

All day trail riders have been heading into Memorial Park. Our cameras caught several groups making their way into town. Los Vaqueros, Valley Lodge, Saltgrass and Old Spanish were just some of the trail rides we saw.

The day is here -- we waited one year for the trail rides to ease into Memorial Park.

In all we'll see 13 trail rides, nearly 1,500 cowboys and cowgirls, plus horses, covered wagons and the occasional cattle dog. Some, like Alex Prince, have been riding for decades.

"This association is 21 years old, but most of us have been riding for some 30 years," said Prince, with the Southwestern Trail Ride.

Others like Juliette Wiltz just past the rookie level.

"I'm new at this; only about three years," said Wiltz, with the Diamond Elle Riding Group.

The group coming from the furthest away, Los Vaqueros, crossed the border in from Mexico.

Just after noon the first to make it into the park was the Old Spanish Trail Ride.

But it's not just about good friends, good food and a good ride -- it's about heritage. Most of the cowboys in the early days were minorities.

"They worked the ranches, made things safe. It goes all the way back. My father was a Buffalo soldier. So they helped settle the West, especially Texas," said Prince.