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Hide party celebrates the big guns who parted with $4 million at RodeoHouston's steer auction

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012, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Cassie Bounds, Robin Zumwalt
Cassie Bounds, Robin Zumwalt Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
001, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Mike Wells Jr., Karen Wells, Sam Ayers
Mike Wells Jr., Karen Wells, Sam Ayers Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
008, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Ellie Francisco, Denise Monteleone
Ellie Francisco, Denise Monteleone Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
014, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Steve Stevens Jr., Steve Estes
Steve Stevens Jr., Steve Estes Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
017, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Wallis Marsh, DeeDee Marsh Paul Somerville
Wallis Marsh, DeeDee Marsh, Paul Somerville Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
010, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Gaye Lynn Zarrow, Stuart Zarrow
Gaye Lynn Zarrow, Stuart Zarrow Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
005, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Chris Bruegger, Vanessa Bruegger, Judy Bruegger, Chuck Bruegger
Chris Bruegger, Vanessa Bruegger, Judy Bruegger, Chuck Bruegger Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
015, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Lisa Gonzalez, Jeff Pena, Sharri Taylor
Lisa Gonzalez, Jeff Pena, Sharri Taylor Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
016, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013,  Lesha Elsenbrook, Tom Elsenbrook
Lesha Elsenbrook, Tom Elsenbrook Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
013, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2012 Leeanne Green, Lois Gary 2013, Leanne Grreen, Aaron Schwartz, Katherine Schwartz
Leanne Green, Louis Green, Aaron Schwartz, Katherine Schwartz Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
011, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Elizabeth Stein, Alan Stein
Elizabeth Stein, Alan Stein Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
006, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Rita Fodell, Greg Fodell, James Minahan III
Rita Fodell, Greg Fodell, James Minahan III Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
004, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Reed Wood, Paige May
Reed Wood, Paige May Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
003, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Rigo Flores, Sally Flores, Marillyn King, Rex King
Rigo Flores, Sally Flores, Marillyn King, Rex King Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
002, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey Photo by © Chinh Phan/CultureMapSNAP.com
012, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Cassie Bounds, Robin Zumwalt
001, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Mike Wells Jr., Karen Wells, Sam Ayers
008, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Ellie Francisco, Denise Monteleone
014, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Steve Stevens Jr., Steve Estes
017, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Wallis Marsh, DeeDee Marsh Paul Somerville
010, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Gaye Lynn Zarrow, Stuart Zarrow
005, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Chris Bruegger, Vanessa Bruegger, Judy Bruegger, Chuck Bruegger
015, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Lisa Gonzalez, Jeff Pena, Sharri Taylor
016, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013,  Lesha Elsenbrook, Tom Elsenbrook
013, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2012 Leeanne Green, Lois Gary 2013, Leanne Grreen, Aaron Schwartz, Katherine Schwartz
011, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Elizabeth Stein, Alan Stein
006, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Rita Fodell, Greg Fodell, James Minahan III
004, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Reed Wood, Paige May
003, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Rigo Flores, Sally Flores, Marillyn King, Rex King
002, Rodeo Houston Hide Party, January 2013, Bill Bailey

It's official, folks. Rodeo party season is here. Proof positive was the suede- and Stetson-bedecked crowd of more than 700 that packed a party room at Reliant Center on Friday night. While there have been a few committee meetings and small gatherings to date, the annual Hide Party stands as the first big hoorah of RodeoHouston.

And there was plenty of noise to be made not only with the two-steppin' sounds of Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters but also with the cheers for the high rollers who brought 2012 steer auction proceeds to an all-time record level — more than $4 million. The Hide Party serves as buyer's appreciation night for those big spenders.

Putting on the big howdy for top buyers (those committing $5,000 or more per steer) were Steer Auction Committee chair Sam Ayers, vice chairman Steve Estes, RodeoHouston board chairman Steve Stevens Jr. , RodeoHouston vice president Mike Wells and more on the popular committee. Their generous spending generated enough funds for 59 college scholarships.

The evening proceeds with a meet-and-greet, seated filet mignon dinner catered by Frankie B. Mandola, official video thank-yous to top buyers, presentation of the hides and then all that dancing.

Receiving mega kudos for their big checks were buyers of the Grand Champion ($460,000), a group that included Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr, the Champagne Cowgirls, Dee Dee and Wallis Marsh, and Paul Somerville with Kristina Hornberger (engaged in the fall). Also in the spotlight was the Grand Reserve Grand Champion buyer group that included Vanessa and Chris Bruegger, Judy and Chuck Bruegger, Sally and Rigo Flores and Mary Alice and Ed Lester.

Kicking up their heels as rodeo season begins were Marilyn and Rex King, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Gayelynn and Stuart Zarrow, Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook, Denise Montelone, Greg and Rita Fodell, Shelley and David Reeves, Beth Madison and Danielle and John Ellis.

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