The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a 90-year-old institution touted as one of the world’s largest gatherings of cattlemen and cowboy sportsmen, has returned after a lengthy hiatus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In the spirit of the event, we dug through the Texas Archive of the Moving Image for footage of Houston rodeos long since passed. From the archival rabbit hole, we unearthed 10 moving pictures, some home videos and others stories broadcast on KPRC 2, which offer a glimpse of the rodeo through the years.
Scroll below for a trip back in time.
Houston Fat Stock Show Interviews (1954)
KPRC 2 photographer and videographer Jim W. Keeland interviews Louis Pearce, the superintendent for the Quarter Horse Show, and Clem Bechard of the Cutting Horse Show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1954.
The Salt Grass Trail Ride (1956)
This home movie features silent, black-and-white footage of the Salt Grass Trail Ride in 1956. Established in 1952, the Salt Grass Trail Ride is the oldest trail ride associated with the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In wagons or on horseback, travelers ride some 105 miles from Cat Springs to Houston.
Houston Rodeo parade (1966)
This KPRC 2 news footage broadcast on Feb. 23, 1966 captures scenes from the Houston Rodeo parade held downtown. Hundreds of spectators lined the streets to watch the trail riders, floats and marching bands.
Houston Rodeo kick-off (1966)
Broadcast on Feb. 23, 1966, this KPRC 2 news footage captures trail riders parading through downtown Houston -- the grand finale at the end of their long trail ride across Texas. Inside the Astrodome, a man goes for a ride on the rodeo’s official wagon.
34th Annual Houston Rodeo (1966)
This 1966 newsreel footage offers a glimpse of bucking broncos and bulls at the 34th Annual Houston Rodeo. The Houston Rodeo was held at the Astrodome for the first time in 1966.
Elvis Presley at the Astrodome (1970)
This home movie captures silent footage of Elvis Presley live in concert during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Houston Astrodome in 1970.
The Jackson 5 at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (1974)
This home movie captures scenes of the Jackson 5 performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Feb. 22, 1974, at the Astrodome.
Prairie View Trail Ride (1989)
This KPRC 2 news segment broadcast on Feb. 13, 1989 profiles the Prairie View Trail Ride, which was established in January 1957 to promote Black western heritage. The Prairie View Trail Ride is one of the oldest trail rides associated with the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Riders travel 86 miles from Hempstead to downtown Houston. A reported 250 people participated in the 1989 Prairie View Trail Ride.
Pig racing at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (1989)
In this KPRC 2 news segment broadcast on Feb. 18, 1989, reporter and football player Spencer Tillman offers a look at the pig races featured during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Houston Rodeo competitions (1989)
This KPRC 2 news segment broadcast on Feb. 17, 1989, offers a look at several of the competitions held at the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, including horse cutting, trail riding, and barbecuing.