LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Jeff Awtrey - email
Posted By Tina Sellers
ANGELINA CO, TX (KTRE) – Two-hundred-and-16 miles on horseback sounds like a rough road, but for the Old Spanish Trail riders, it's nothing but fun and fellowship.
"It's a family. It's like a big family reunion every year. Every time we have a warm-up ride or dance, it's a family reunion. We got five generations here. It's exciting," Sally Brown said.
The Old Spanish Trail ride began Saturday in Logansport, Louisiana. Monday, they stopped in Lufkin for lunch before heading to camp in Diboll. They will follow Highway 59 south and eventually end up at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Some of the riders have come back to ride the trail year-after-year. For first-timer Wayne Morris it means he'll have officially trained his horse.
"He was hard to handle. That's what motivated me. I said I'm gonna ride this sucker to downtown Houston before it's all over with," Morris said.
It's a 55 year old tradition, intended to promote the upcoming Rodeo.
"We just keep it going. That's our job," Morris said.
Trail boss Morris Brown has been a part of the ride for 31 years. He says it is the people that keep him coming back. "A lot of people we don't see but once a year. Kinda like a high-school class reunion."
"It's a great group of people to ride with. It's a lot of fun," Darla Turner said.
Others just love their horses.
"Riding horses is something I just love to do," Wayne Morris added.
"My favorite part of riding horses is when it's fun," Josey Len agreed.
More than 150 riders joined the trail this year and more are welcome for next year.
At just over 150 dollars for the ride, including meals, it may be the best deal around, just ask little Josey.
"It's pretty fun and they might like to do it."
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was established in 1931. Last year was a record-breaking year for the Rodeo in BBQ contest attendance, general attendance, single day attendance and the number of performances.
Singer Clay Walker kicks off the show opener on March 1.
The Rodeo awards more than a million dollars to Texas FFA and 4-H scholarships.
For more information: http://www.hlsr.com/