Calf Scramble

One of the most spirited and extremely heartwarming events at RODEOHOUSTON® is the calf scramble, which takes place after the rodeo action in NRG Stadium. With Texas 4-H and FFA members and calves darting in every direction across the NRG Stadium floor, the calf scramble becomes one of the most chaotic, unscripted and favorite events of the Rodeo.

Since the program’s inception in 1942, approximately $19.8 million in certificates and awards has been distributed to more than 23,600 students.

How It Works

With the drop of a cowboy hat, 15 calves are released into the arena for 30 youngsters to chase and attempt to catch. Each student who catches a calf is awarded a $1,750 certificate to purchase a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at the Houston Livestock Show™ the following year. Returning as an exhibitor, the student shows in a special competition with other calf scramble and judging contest winners. The student receives a $500 bonus if program requirements are fulfilled throughout the year.

Super Scramble

The Super Scramble is an extension of one of RODEOHOUSTON®’s fan-favorite events, Calf Scramble, which is held nightly after the rodeo action. The Super Scramble invites the 19 “First Catch” scramblers from each of the previous 19 Calf Scramble performances, to participate in the event. The 19 scramblers attempt to catch one of the nine calves during the event, and each participant is awarded a cash prize based on their performance.

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If you would like to participate in the Calf Scramble Program, your entry must be submitted online by your county extension agent or agricultural science teacher. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ will not accept the application package as an official entry document. Online entries open Oct. 15 each year, and must be submitted by Dec. 1.

Participation Information


There are multiple ways you can support the Rodeo's Calf Scramble Program. Donors can either contribute $2,250 for a calf or donate an amount to the awards program. Both donations can be made as individuals or in groups.

Results & Photos

When reviewing the calf scramble results, the categories are Mystery Calf, Glazier First Catch and Hard Luck. The Mystery Calf is selected by the Calf Scramble Committee prior to the event and remains a secret from the participants. The student who catches the Mystery Calf receives an additional prize along with the calf scramble certificate. The person to catch the first calf receives a belt buckle and $100 in addition to the certificate. Hard Luck is an award given by the Calf Scramble Committee to a participant who did not catch a calf, but showed an exceptional effort. The Hard Luck winner also receives a purchase certificate.