When the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was abruptly canceled due to coronavirus concerns by Mayor Sylvester Turner on March 11, concerns immediately turned to the thousands of junior exhibitors whose work and time was suddenly lost.
The same day, the rodeo announced that it would honor its scholarship commitment to students. And on July 28, the rodeo has announced that more than 10,000 junior exhibitors who were affected will receive more than $9.3 million in premiums in their respective categories, per a press release.
Due to the sudden closure, many of the annual livestock competitions were cut short. However, the rodeo’s school art competition and lamb and goat competitions were completed before the early closure.
Now, the following premiums were distributed to each exhibitor, according to the rodeo:
- Junior Market Steer: $1,225
- Junior Market Barrow: $950
- Junior Market Poultry: $500
- Junior Breeding Beef Heifer: $400
- Junior Dairy Heifer: $400
- Junior Commercial Steer: Premiums will be given based on competition points earned prior to closure
- Junior Market Lamb and Goat: Guaranteed premiums based on placing
- School Art Auction: Guaranteed premiums based on placing
“These junior livestock exhibitors work year-round to prepare for our annual event, and we are honored to present them with these premiums after such a heartbreaking end to the 2020 rodeo,” said Chris Boleman, rodeo president and CEO, in a statement. “Our volunteers, staff, donors, auction buyers and community came together to support those who were impacted by the early closure, and this is truly a testament to the generosity of everyone who is part of the rodeo family.”
These premiums come courtesy of the rodeo’s first-ever online auctions, held in March of this year. A donation page was also created so members of the community could donate directly to exhibitors and the rodeo’s educational fund.
The 2021 rodeo is next scheduled for March 2 – 21, 2021.