2019: A Record-Breaking Year

by | Mar 18, 2019 | Article


In his first appearance at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since 2013, George Strait closed the Rodeo with a concert-only performance with special guests Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. With a paid attendance of 80,108, Strait broke his own NRG Stadium record, a record he set in 2013 during his last appearance at the Rodeo. The concert-only performance held Sunday, March 17, marked Strait’s 30th performance in his 22 years at the Rodeo.


“By offering a diverse musical lineup, great rodeo action, a number of agricultural and educational exhibits, and a wide variety of food and fun, the 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo drew more than 2.5 million visitors to take part in our community celebration of Western heritage,” said Joel Cowley, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president and CEO. “Thanks to our more than 34,000 dedicated volunteers, we were able to successfully host Houston’s favorite tradition in support of our $27.1 million commitment to youth and education.”


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo entertained guests for 24 days, Feb. 21-23, and 25 – March 17, 2019. Highlights from the 2019 Rodeo are included below.



  • Total attendance for all activities on the grounds, Feb. 21 – 23 (World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest) and Feb. 25 – March 17, 2019 (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) reached 2,506,263.
    • In three days, the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest entertained 215,685 guests.
  • Paid Rodeo/concert attendance reached 1,337,725.
    • Three RODEOHOUSTON performances landed on the list of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s top 25 paid rodeo/concert attendance records.
      • first: Sunday, March 10, 2019 – Go Tejano Day – Los Tigres Del Norte – 75,586
      • second: Friday, March 1, 2019 – Black Heritage Day – Cardi B – 75,580
      • 16th: Saturday, March 9, 2019 – Kane Brown – 75,122
  • The Sunday, March 17, concert-only performance with George Strait, and special guests Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, set an attendance record for any event in NRG Stadium with 80,108 people.



  • RODEOHOUSTON committed $2.17 million to its contestants in 2019.
  • The 2019 RODEOHOUSTON Super Series invited the world’s top rodeo athletes to compete in seven traditional rodeo events.
    • RODEOHOUSTON Super Series athletes competed for a share of $1,748,000 in prize money. Each event champion rode out of NRG Stadium with $50,000, plus winnings from the preliminary rounds.
    • The 2019 RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Champions, with total money earned, are:
      • Tie-Down Roping: Michael Otero, Weatherford, Texas – $54,250
      • Bareback Riding: Kaycee Feild, Genola, Utah – $56,250
        • five-time RODEOHOUSTON champion – 2012, 2014-16, and 2019
      • Team Roping: Ty Blasingame, Casper, Wyoming; and Kyle Lockett, Visalia, California – $55,750 each, for a total of $111,500
      • Saddle Bronc Riding: Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah – $58,000
      • Steer Wrestling: Josh Garner, Live Oak, California – $57,000
      • Barrel Racing: Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, California – $56,000
        • two-time RODEOHOUSTON champion – 2018-19
      • Bull Riding: Trevor Kastner: Roff, Oklahoma – $58,500
    • The RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout®: North America’s Champions, presented by Crown Royal, is one-day event that featured champion athletes from eight of the best rodeos in the U.S. and Canada.
      • Contestants competed as individuals, and as a team consisting of event champions from each of the eight rodeos: Calgary Stampede, Days of 47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo, Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, Rodeo Austin, RODEOHOUSTON, San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
      • The Super Shootout featured five fan-favorite events: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling.
      • With a total purse of $250,000, the Super Shootout is among the richest one-day rodeo events in the world. Each event champion earned $25,000, and team members earned an additional $2,500 each for their share of $12,500 for the winning team.
      • 2019 champions, with the rodeos they represented, are:
        • Bareback Riding: Richie Champion, Team Calgary Stampede
        • Barrel Racing: Nellie Miller, Team RODEOHOUSTON
        • Bull Riding: Trey Benton, Team San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo
        • Saddle Bronc Riding: Ryder Wright, Team Calgary Stampede
        • Steer Wrestling: Justin Shaffer, Team Days of 47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo
        • Super Shootout Team Award: Calgary Stampede



  • Livestock and horse show competitions drew 34,474 entries.
  • Junior auction sales totaled $17,445,112.
  • Eleven junior auction Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion lots set world or Rodeo records. The prices for the top winners in the junior market and school art auctions were:
    • Junior Market Barrow
      • Grand Champion Barrow: $245,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Barrow: $195,000 (world record)
    • Junior Market Pen of Broilers
      • Grand Champion Pen of Broilers: $220,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Broilers: $165,000 (world record)
    • Junior Market Goat
      • Grand Champion Goat: $183,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Goat: $100,000
    • Junior Market Lamb
      • Grand Champion Lamb: $325,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Lamb: $120,000
    • Junior Market Steer
      • Grand Champion Steer: $625,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Steer: $367,000 (world record)
    • Junior Market Turkey
      • Grand Champion Turkey: $190,000 (world record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Turkey: $177,000 (world record)
    • School Art
      • Grand Champion Work of Art: $240,000 (Rodeo record)
      • Reserve Grand Champion Work of Art: $180,000
  • Auction totals (unaudited preliminary totals that do not include cash contributions and some purchase commitment amounts) were:
    • Barrow: $3,750,760
    • Champion Wine Auction: $2,191,490
    • Junior Commercial Steer: $776,646 (live auction of choice steers)
    • Lamb and Goat: $2,994,208
    • Poultry: $2,355,638
    • Ranching & Wildlife: $400,535
    • School Art: $2,093,951
    • Steer: $6,250,555
  • Calf scramble and judging contest winners received 375 certificates, each worth $2,250, to apply toward the purchase of a registered beef heifer or steer to exhibit at the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Certificate premiums totaled $843,750.
  • Calf scramble exhibitors from 2018 who returned with their heifer or steer projects to compete at the 2019 Houston Livestock Show received more than $100,000 total in premiums and awards.



  • The Rodeo committed $27,174,610 to the youth of Texas in 2019:
    • $14,286,000 in scholarships to be awarded this summer;
    • $8,305,250 to junior show exhibitors;
    • $3,969,720 in educational program grants; and
    • $613,640 in graduate assistantships.



presented by Occidental Petroleum

  • Approximately 61,000 people participated in a scheduled school tour or field trip.
  • Nearly 18,000 little cowboys and cowgirls rode the pony rides.
  • More than 950 chicks hatched in the Poultry Exhibit.
  • Fifty-three piglets, 25 lambs and 20 calves were born at the Birthing Center.



  • More than 100,000 little farmers visited Fun on the Farm, presented by TDECU.
  • More than 18,000 people rode camels.



  • More than 250,000 individual items of Rodeo and entertainer merchandise went home with fans, including 30,000 caps and T-shirts, 12,000 mugs and tumblers, and 10,000 lapel pins.



  • More than 2.5 million rides were taken at the carnival.
  • The Rodeo debuted the Titan, the tallest portable thrill ride in the U.S., weighing in at more than 200,000 pounds. More than 25,000 riders reached 17 stories high and speeds at more than 60 miles per hour.
  • The most popular rides were La Grande XL, Skyride, Ice Jets and Crazy Coaster.
  • Approximately 70,000 riders enjoyed the view of the Rodeo grounds from the La Grande XL.
  • More than 600,000 prizes were won at the games. The most popular prizes were basketballs, llamas and alpacas.
  • Approximately 376,000 Oreos were battered, fried and dusted with powdered sugar.
  • One orchard of apples was used for candy and caramel apples.
  • Approximately 6,000 pounds of kettle corn were enjoyed by guests.

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