Official State Sport of Texas
Rodeo was designated the official state sport of Texas in 1997. All State Sports
Rodeos grew from informal competition among cowboys during the annual roundup and branding of cattle. Today rodeos have standardized events such as bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping and bull riding.
Official State Rodeo Drill Team
Texas designated the "Ghostriders" as the official state rodeo drill team in 2007 (House Concurrent Resolution No. 136, 80th Legislature).
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 21
WHEREAS, Texas is blessed with a rich and colorful history, and no event captures the unique spirit of the Lone Star State better than rodeo; and
WHEREAS, The cattle industry of the Southwest flourished throughout the 1800s, but the fencing of the open range in the latter part of that century forever changed the nomadic existence of the cowboy; bronc riding and roping contests at community celebrations quickly gained popularity as opportunities for cowboys to test their skills against counterparts from other ranches, and these informal contests eventually gave way to organized competitions that awarded prize money to the top finishers; and
WHEREAS, From the earliest days of the sport, Texas has played a key role in the development of the modern rodeo; the world's first recorded rodeo was held in Pecos in 1883, and Fort Worth staged the first indoor rodeo in 1917; Rockdale's legendary Bill Pickett laid the foundation for the popular steer-wrestling event when he developed a method of bulldogging a steer by the lip, and his success on the rodeo circuit opened the door for other African American cowboys; and
WHEREAS, Problems soon emerged for the competitors, however, and when the need for an organization representing the cowboys' interests became apparent, Texas was again at the leading edge; the Rodeo Cowboys Association, the forerunner to today's famed Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), was established in Houston in 1945, and renowned Bandera calf roper Toots Mansfield, a seven-time world champion, was installed as its first president; and
WHEREAS, Female competitors such as Fort Worth's Barbara Inez "Tad" Lucas also gained fame and fortune on the rodeo circuit in the early part of this century, and cowgirls eventually banded together to establish the Women's Professional Rodeo Association in San Angelo; many of these women have been honored for their unique contributions in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, which is located in Fort Worth; and
WHEREAS, Today, internationally known rodeos in Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, as well as countless others across the state, continue the Lone Star rodeo legacy and preserve this invaluable link to our past; no other sport so embodies the independence, fortitude, and courage exhibited by our state's forebears, and thus the rodeo holds a special place in the hearts of all Texans; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby declare rodeo to be the official sport of Texas.