The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, which is one of the largest rodeos in the world, has just been canceled due to COVID-19. The rodeo, which brought over 2 million in attendance over the past ten years and had a $ 227 million economic impact last year is a huge, was supposed to run until March 22, but was cut short due to the virus.
In a statement, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo said, “In the interest of public health, the City of Houston and the Houston Health Department have ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to close. The Rodeo will respectfully and dutifully comply with the City’s order.
“The Rodeo is deeply saddened; however, the safety and well-being of our guests and our community is our top priority. Out of precaution, the City has decided that this is the best course of action for our community.
“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been a fabric of this community since 1932. Having to close early is extremely difficult as guests, volunteers, exhibitors, rodeo athletes and entertainers look forward to the 20 days of the Rodeo each year. More information regarding ticket refunds or donations will be communicated Thursday, March 12
We look forward to the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to continue to promote agriculture, education, entertainment and Western heritage. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Updates will be posted on our website.”
See below for an interview with Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president and CEO Joel Cowley.
The rodeo community is also sadden by the news. Courtenay DeHoff, television personality and rural America advocate, wrote on Facebook, “I just wanted to say I’m thinking of all the showman and rodeo athletes affected by the cancellation of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. You see, this is more than missing out on an event. This is one of the largest shows and rodeos in the world. Breeders, showman and athletes spend their whole lives preparing for a show like this.
“This will affect livelihoods in more ways than one. The financial impact these families are now facing is huge. They are out exponential costs with no chance to recoup. I’m praying for each one of you. Obviously, I’m very thankful that Houston is taking the necessary precautions to keep people alive but I’m saddened for the toll this will take on my agriculture family.”