Children and Cattle Compete at Houston Rodeo

10 April, 2016

Cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States were in Houston, Texas last month for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The Houston rodeo is one of the biggest shows of its kind in the world.

The yearly event gives children who live in cities a chance to see farm animals up close. It also gives children from rural areas a chance to show off animals they have fed and cared for.

One of the most popular activities at the rodeo is called the calf scramble. Young people chase a calf and try to catch the animal with a rope. Winners of the event are given $2,000 to use to buy a cow that they can raise and exhibit at the show next year.

Hanna Lisenbe lives on a small farm near Fort Worth, Texas. She told VOA she hoped to win the event.

"We don't really have the money to just dive into the cattle business on our own, and I thought the calf scramble would be a great way to get in there and give me the opportunity to have my own cattle."

Many of those who took part in the calf scramble live on and farms, but children who live in and near big cities also compete. In Texas, many school systems have farms where students, even those from cities, can care for animals.

Alexa Vazquez lives near Houston. She won a calf scramble in a previous rodeo.

"I'm going to be raising a heifer, which I have never done before, and I am actually pretty excited."

She said that caring for an animal has helped her decide what kind of work she wants to do.

"It kind of inspires me a little bit, kind of makes me want to work hard and, maybe one day, probably be a veterinarian."

Bryson Bassinger grew up in farm country near the Texas border with Oklahoma. He says that is where he plans to live his life.

"I would not choose anything else. I couldn't live in the city. I would rather have cows than people around me."

I'm Anne Ball.

VOA Correspondent Greg Flakus reported this story from Houston. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

exhibit – v. to make something available for people to see

heifer – n. a young female cow

inspire – v. to make (someone) want to do something; to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

veterinarian – n. a person who is trained to give medical care and treatment to animals; an animal doctor