Equine Community Benefits From Record-Breaking Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Commitment

October 19, 2012 Off By Roberta Johnston

Horse enthusiasts, professional and amateur, will benefit significantly from the new Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo educational commitment.

Record financial results driven by record attendance have allowed the Show to give a record of $24.6 million in support for the 2013 Show season, 26 percent increase from 2012.

The 2013 educational support includes a $1.5 million grant to the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative, which will allow the university to use the expertise from both its animal science and veterinary programs to:

. build an equine program that will graduate future leaders in the industry,

. generate research and improve equine veterinary care,

. build facilities from which to teach and train students, and

. conduct research, and connect with the entire industry.

“From the outstanding horses that bring our trail riders to Houston to kick off our event, to our rodeo equine athletes and competitive show horses, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is deeply committed to the horse industry,” said R.H. “Steve” Stevens, Show chairman of the board.

“Horses also are such a vital connection to our Western heritage,” he said. “Being in the middle of the nation’s fourth largest city, we have a lot of attendees who have never had the opportunity to see real farm animals. When you see our visitors, especially the kids, get to actually see a horse up close for the first time, it’s a moving experience. This is a natural partnership between the Show and the university.”

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials made the announcement on Oct. 1 that the organization has surpassed the $330 million mark in educational commitment to Texas students since its beginning in 1932.

In addition to the Equine Initiative, the Show’s commitment is comprised of:

. scholarships to high school seniors, and college juniors and seniors (current Show scholars, to be used for the 2013-14 school year);

. graduate assistantships for students at 11 different Texas universities;

. educational program grants for a variety of organizations; and

. support for 2013 Houston Livestock ShowT junior show exhibitors.

The new educational commitment adds more than 100 scholarships, and increases four-year scholarships from $16,000 each to $18,000.

The additional scholarships include five $18,000 scholarships for dependents of military personnel; five $8,000 technical scholarships; and 100 bonus scholarships for incoming college juniors, 50 at $16,000 each, and incoming seniors, 50 at $8,000 each, who are current Show scholars.

Also new for 2013, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is contributing to the American Festival for the Arts, Children’s Museum of Houston, Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory, Memorial Park Conservancy, The Center for Hearing and Speech, The Health Museum, and more.

Additionally, the Show will continue its support of the Texas A&M University Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans, Alley Theatre, Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists, Brookwood Community, Houston Independent School District – Apollo 20 Program, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Community College Public Safety Institute, Houston Grand Opera, Teach for America – Houston, Theatre Under the Stars, and other local and statewide educational programs.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. The 2013 Show runs Monday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, March 17. For more information, visit  www.rodeohouston.com.