When the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was suddenly canceled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, concerned locals and fans immediately wondered how the young exhibitors and students would fare.
The rodeo quickly responded by announcing that it would honor the scholarships promised to aspiring students — a glimmer of hope in an otherwise grim week.
Left out of the conversation were the junior exhibitors, who work the entire year to see their prized animals shown on the rodeo grounds. With the show canceled, their outlook was grim.
Now, some good news: the rodeo is hosting online auctions, giving registered buyers the opportunity to support the 2020 junior exhibitors. The School Art and Junior Market online auctions will run Friday, March 20 through Saturday, March 21.
These online auctions are for pre-registered buyers who would have otherwise attended these live auctions. Members of the public who want to donate specifically to these junior exhibitors are welcome to contribute here.
Tony Bradfield, CEO of Tenenbaum Jewelers, plans to give all of the money raised at the auction to the exhibitors. Money will be split evenly among students.
“Though public health is paramount, we are heartbroken for the thousands of hardworking junior exhibitors who were unable to participate in the 2020 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Joel Cowley, rodeo president and CEO. “These online auctions will allow these exhibitors to receive the support and recognition they deserve.”
In addition to the School Art online auction, Junior Market online auctions will include lamb and goat, poultry, barrow and steer. The School Art online auction will include the 72 pieces of winning artwork from the Rodeo’s 2020 School Art Program, including the Grand Champion Work of Art and Reserve Grand Champion Work of Art.
Additionally, the lamb and goat auction will include the actual 2020 Lamb and Goat Grand and Reserve Grand champions.