The 82nd edition of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo came to an end Sunday with a new 20-day attendance record of 2.48 million people.
The record came with a bit of an asterisk as last year's total attendance record of 2.5 million visitors included an extra day for a George Strait concert. Even so, there was a lot to brag about this go-around.
“So many different facets of the Show — horse show, livestock show, rodeo, carnival, music, shopping and dining — provided a unique combination for family fun and created an overall success,” Show president Joel Cowley said in a news release.
Paid attendance for nightly concerts also reached a record 1.37 million. Five performers from this year's lineup broke into the top 10 all-time concert attendance records — Banda MS and Pesado (No. 4), Maroon 5 (No. 6), Luke Bryan (No. 8), Usher (No. 9) and Blake Shelton (No. 10).
There was also a lot of rodeo action, as photographer Michelle Watson capture in this photo essay.
2014 Barrel Racing Champion Nancy Hunter of Neola, Utah took the top prize of $55,000.
Usher made the most memorable entrance and exit — on a motorcycle. And despite sound problems, his steamy concert had audiences swooning.
Ride 'em cowboy: Bull Riding Champion Tyler Smith of Fruita, Colo. is this year's Bull Riding Champion, and took home the top prize of $56,200.
Adam Levine was all ears as Maroon 5 drew an excited crowd and broke into the top 10 all-time most attended rodeo performances.
What would a rodeo competition be without the bullfighters who help distract the angry animals?
This bullfighter is head over heels over his job.
Blake Shelton bet his Voice co-host Adam Levine that he'd draw a bigger Rodeo crowd but came up 60 fans short. (Levine's Maroon 5 drew 75,214 to Shelton's 75,054). But Shelton popped a big surprise when his wife Miranda Lambert joined him for a duet.
And Shelton still owns two places on the Top 10 all-time attendance list, at No. 3 from last year's concert and No. 10 for this year's concert. Levine can't top that.
The kids get no cash, but the mutton bustin' competition is an audience favorite.
Holding on for dear life.
Grupo Pesado (band member shown here) teamed with Banda MS to draw the fourth biggest Rodeo crowd ever at this year's Go Tejano Day.
Kolby Lane gets the upper hand (we think) in the Calf Scramble compeition.
It's tail over head for Charles Gross in the Calf Scramble competition.
Reba showed she is still the Queen of Country Music with a rousing concert that thrilled fans of all ages.
Olin Hannum from Malad, Idaho received first-place winnings of $54,325 and the title of 2014 Steer Wrestling Champion.
The IW Marks entry went all-out full speed ahead in the Chuck Wagon races.
Luke Bryan drew the eighth largest crowd in rodeo history — on a Monday night no less. Bryan also holds the No. 2 spot on the all-time attendance list from last year's concert.
The 2014 Saddle Bronc Riding Champion is Heith Demoss of Heflin, La. He won $55,783.
In their first appearance at RodeoHouston, Florida Georgia Line bandmembers seemed super excited and it showed in a concert that had the audience standing from beginning to end.
The 2014 Team Roping Champions are Erich Rogers and Cory Petska from Round Rock, Ariz., and Lexington, Okla., respectively. They won $114,500.
No one's boots could compare with The Band Perry's lead singer Kimberly Perry's Louboutins.
Kaycee Field of Spanish Fork, Utah is the 2014 Bareback Riding champion and recipient of the $57,150 prize.
Scott Kormos of Teague, Texas is the Tie-Down Roping Champion. His first-place winnings: $55,300.
The Zac Brown Band brought the Rodeo to a close Sunday night with a strong concert that included a poignant salute to Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell.
And then everyone rode into the sunset.