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Rodeo Wrapup

Rodeo wrap-up: Record crowds, top entertainers and real cowpokes leave lots of memorable moments

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Nancy Hunter

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.

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2014 Barrel Racing Champion Nancy Hunter of Neola, Utah took the top prize of  $55,000.

   

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Usher bike

Usher made the most memorable entrance and exit — on a motorcycle. And despite sound problems, his steamy concert had audiences swooning.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Tyler Smith

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.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Maroon 5 Adam Levine ear

Adam Levine was all ears as Maroon 5 drew an excited crowd and broke into the top 10 all-time most attended rodeo performances.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
6 RodeoHouston rodeo extras bullfighters March 2014

What would a rodeo competition be without the bullfighters who help distract the angry animals?

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 RodeoHouston rodeo extras bullfighters March 2014

This bullfighter is head over heels over his job.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Blake Shelton in concert at RodeoHouston March 2014 and Miranda Lambert

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.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 mutton bustin'

The kids get no cash, but the mutton bustin' competition is an audience favorite.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
19 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 mutton bustin'

Holding on for dear life.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Go Tejano Day at Houston Rodeo with Grupo Pesado March 2014

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.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
15 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Kolby Lane

Kolby Lane gets the upper hand (we think) in the Calf Scramble compeition.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
11 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Charles Gross

It's tail over head for Charles Gross in the Calf Scramble competition.

Photo by © Chinh Phan/Fotowerk Group
Reba clap

Reba showed she is still the Queen of Country Music with a rousing concert that thrilled fans of all ages.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
5 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Olin Hannum

Olin Hannum from Malad, Idaho received first-place winnings of $54,325 and the title of 2014 Steer Wrestling Champion.
   

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
8 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 IW Marks Chuck Wagon

The IW Marks entry went all-out full speed ahead in the Chuck Wagon races.

Photo by © Chinh Phan/Fotowerk Group
Luke Bryan at Houston Rodeo March 2014

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.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
4 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Heith Demoss

The 2014 Saddle Bronc Riding Champion is Heith Demoss of Heflin, La. He won $55,783.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Florida Georgia Line at Houston Rodeo March 2014

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.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
3 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Erich Rogers and Cory Petska

The 2014 Team Roping Champions are Erich Rogers and Cory Petska from Round Rock, Ariz., and Lexington, Okla., respectively. They won $114,500.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Band Perry at Houston Rodeo March 2014

No one's boots could compare with The Band Perry's lead singer Kimberly Perry's Louboutins.

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
2 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Kaycee Field

Kaycee Field of Spanish Fork, Utah is the 2014 Bareback Riding champion and recipient of the $57,150 prize.
   

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
1 RodeoHouston Rodeo champions March 2014 Scott Kormos

Scott Kormos of Teague, Texas is the Tie-Down Roping Champion. His first-place winnings: $55,300.
   

Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
9 Zac Brown Band at RodeoHouston March 2014

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.