The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo returned full swing in 2023, welcoming more than 2.4 million guests over the 23-day event. This year’s show had some of the best weather in Rodeo history, action-packed RODEOHOUSTON® competitions, 10 record-breaking auctions, and an addition of a new star on the Star Trail of Fame.
“With sensational weather, unbeatable family-fun, one-of-a-kind educational exhibits, elite athletes, outstanding exhibitors, successful auctions and an unmatched concert lineup, 2023 was a spectacular, record setting year for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Chris Boleman, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president and CEO. “With the help and dedication of more than 35,000 Show volunteers and staff, we were able to provide a unique and unforgettable experience once again to our guests. But it’s truly because of the ongoing support from our community that we are able to provide millions in scholarships and change lives year after year.”
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo entertained guests for 23 days, Feb. 23 – 25, and Feb. 28 – March 19, 2023.
2023 Rodeo Highlights
- Total attendance for all activities on the grounds, Feb. 23 – 25 (World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings) and Feb. 28 – March 19, 2023 (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) reached 2,479,004.
- In three days, the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest entertained 214,903 guests.
- Showtime highest daily total attendance from 2023:
- Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – 165,623
- Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 159,610
- Saturday, March 18, 2023 – 146,489
- Sunday, March 19, 2023 – 140,521
- Sunday, March 12, 2023 – 139,912
- Paid rodeo/concert attendance reached 1,355,367.
- Highest paid rodeo/concert performances from 2023:
- Sunday, March 19, 2023 – Luke Bryan – 74,779
- Saturday, March 11, 2023 – Turnpike Troubadours – 74,657
- Saturday, March 18, 2023 –Brad Paisley – 74,577
- Friday, March 3, 2023 – Black Heritage Day, presented by Kroger – Bun B’s Southern Takeover – 74,573
- Friday, March 17, 2023 – Cody Johnson – 73,144
- Highest paid rodeo/concert performances from 2023:
- RodeoHouston committed $2.178 million to its contestants in 2023.
- The 2023 RodeoHouston Super Series invited the world’s top rodeo athletes to compete in eight traditional rodeo events.
- RODEOHOUSTON introduced its second women’s-only event, Breakaway Roping, for seven days in 2022. For 2023, Breakaway Roping was included in all 20 performances.
- RodeoHouston Super Series athletes competed for a share of $2,178,000 in prize money. Each event champion rode out of NRG Stadium with $50,000, plus winnings from the preliminary rounds.
- The 2023 RodeoHouston Super Series Champions, with total money earned, are:
- Bareback Riding: Leighton Berry: Weatherford, Texas – $57,375
- Barrel Racing: Jordon Briggs: Tolar, Texas – $58,000
- This is Briggs’ second Championship win in a row.
- Breakaway Roping: Hali Williams: Comanche, Texas – $53,750
- Bull Riding: Ky Hamilton: Beaver, Utah – $62,000
- Saddle Bronc Riding: Sage Newman: Melstone, Montana – $56,750
- Newman is a previous RODEOHOUSTON Championship winner (2022)
- Steer Wrestling: Dalton Massey, Stanfield, Oregon – $54,250
- Team Roping: Rhen Richard: Roosevelt, Utah; and Jeremy Buhler, Maricopa, Arizona– $111,500 ($55,750 each)
- Tie-Down Roping: Riley Webb: Denton, Texas – $55,625
- For 2023, RODEOHOUSTON split its Wild Card Round into a two-day event, eliminating the RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout from the schedule. The money from RODEOHOUSTON’s previous one-day Super Shootout event was redistributed towards the Super Series purse paying down to 5th and 6th places.
- 360 contestants competed over the 20-day event.
- RODEOHOUSTON added two new local qualifiers for 2023 – Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo in Rosenberg, Texas and Waller County Fair and Rodeo in Hempstead, Texas.
Star Trail of Fame
- Legendary performer Brad Paisley was inducted to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s prestigious Star Trail of Fame on March 18, 2023.
- Brad Paisley is the 10th star honored with a gold plaque to commemorate his years of outstanding entertainment on the RODEOHOUSTON stage.
- Paisley has performed at RODEOHOUSTON every year since 2014, and this 2023 performance marks his 15th time overall.
Livestock Show, Horse Show and Auctions
- Livestock and horse show competitions drew 35,320 entries.
- Junior auction sales totaled $22,617,879 (unaudited preliminary totals).
- Barrow: $4,201,875
- Junior Commercial Steer: $1,169,968 (live auction of choice steers)
- Lamb and Goat: $3,445,132
- Poultry: $3,302,960
- School Art: $2,565,911
- Steer: $7,932,033
- Eight auction Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion lots set Rodeo records.
- Junior Market Barrow
- Grand Champion: $375,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $320,000 (Rodeo record)
- Junior Market Pen of Broilers
- Grand Champion: $300,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $175,000 (Rodeo record)
- Junior Market Goat
- Grand Champion: $240,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $135,000
- Junior Market Lamb
- Grand Champion: $350,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $160,000
- Junior Market Steer
- Grand Champion: $550,000
- Reserve Grand Champion: $540,000
- Junior Market Turkey
- Grand Champion: $200,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $195,000 (Rodeo record)
- School Art
- Grand Champion: $275,000 (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $185,000
- Grand Champion: $325,000. (Rodeo record)
- Reserve Grand Champion: $165,000
- Junior Market Barrow
- Rodeo Uncorked!® Champion Wine Auction: $2,795,200
- Ranching & Wildlife: $463,730
- Calf scramble and judging contest winners received 374 certificates, each worth $2,250, to apply toward the purchase of a registered beef heifer or steer to exhibit at the 2024 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Certificate premiums totaled $841,500.
- Calf scramble exhibitors from 2022 who returned with their heifer or steer projects to compete at the 2023 Houston Livestock Show received more than $100,000 total in premiums and awards.
- The Super Scramble competition was added in 2022, where the 19 “First Catch” scramblers from each of the previous 19 Calf Scramble performances were invited to participate in the event Sunday, March 19, 2023. The 19 scramblers had an extra chance to catch one of the nine calves during the event, and each participant was awarded a cash prize based on their performance. The event awarded an additional $42,000 in cash prizes for Texas youth.
Scholarships and Education
- The Rodeo committed $22,560,562 to the youth of Texas in 2023:
- $14,286,000 in scholarships to be awarded this summer;
- $5,292,250 to junior show exhibitors;
- $2,517,722 in educational program grants; and
- $464,590 in graduate assistantships.
AGVENTURE, presented by Oxy
- Approximately 71,000 people participated in a scheduled school tour or field trip.
- More than 16,000 little cowboys and cowgirls rode the pony rides.
- Approximately 700 chicks hatched in the Poultry Exhibit.
- Fifty-five piglets, 17 lambs and 15 calves were born at the Birthing Center.
- Nearly 132,000 little farmers visited Fun on the Farm.
Official Rodeo Merchandise
- Nearly 200,000 individual items of Rodeo and entertainer merchandise went home with fans, including 108,000 caps and T-shirts, and koozies. Plus, over 36,000 reusable bags, and over 11,000 lapel pins.
- The Rodeo’s first-ever drone show was performed three times, on March 4, 11 and 18.
- Lasting approximately 10 minutes and utilizing 200 drones, the show featured Rodeo mascot Howdy, a bull rider, cowboys, carnival rides and more.
Carnival and Food
- RCS, the carnival provider, drove nearly 420,000 miles to deliver the carnival to Houston, which is the distance of 14 times around the world.
- Approximately 2.8 million rides were taken at the carnival. The top five rides were:
- XL Le Grande Wheel
- Raptor Coaster
- Crazy Coaster
- Rave Wave
- 125 semi-trucks full of carnival prizes were brought to the 2023 Rodeo.
- Approximately 725,000 prizes were won at the games. The top five stuffed toys were:
- Ramen Pillow
- Bob Ross
- Howdy H
- The top five food items were:
- Turkey legs
- Fried Oreos
- Funnel cakes
- Corn dogs
More about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $575 million to the youth of Texas and education. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.