1-1           WHEREAS, Texas is blessed with a rich and colorful history,

 1-2     and no event captures the unique spirit of the Lone Star State

 1-3     better than rodeo; and

 1-4           WHEREAS, The cattle industry of the Southwest flourished

 1-5     throughout the 1800s, but the fencing of the open range in the

 1-6     latter part of that century forever changed the nomadic existence

 1-7     of the cowboy; bronc riding and roping contests at community

 1-8     celebrations quickly gained popularity as opportunities for cowboys

 1-9     to test their skills against counterparts from other ranches, and

1-10     these informal contests eventually gave way to organized

1-11     competitions that awarded prize money to the top finishers; and

1-12           WHEREAS, From the earliest days of the sport, Texas has

1-13     played a key role in the development of the modern rodeo; the

1-14     world's first recorded rodeo was held in Pecos in 1883, and Fort

1-15     Worth staged the first indoor rodeo in 1917; Rockdale's legendary

1-16     Bill Pickett laid the foundation for the popular steer-wrestling

1-17     event when he developed a method of bulldogging a steer by the lip,

1-18     and his success on the rodeo circuit opened the door for other

1-19     African American cowboys; and

1-20           WHEREAS, Problems soon emerged for the competitors, however,

1-21     and when the need for an organization representing the cowboys'

1-22     interests became apparent, Texas was again at the leading edge; the

1-23     Rodeo Cowboys Association, the forerunner to today's famed

1-24     Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), was established in

 2-1     Houston in 1945, and renowned Bandera calf roper Toots Mansfield, a

 2-2     seven-time world champion, was installed as its first president;

 2-3     and

 2-4           WHEREAS, Female competitors such as Fort Worth's Barbara Inez

 2-5     "Tad" Lucas also gained fame and fortune on the rodeo circuit in

 2-6     the early part of this century, and cowgirls eventually banded

 2-7     together to establish the Women's Professional Rodeo Association in

 2-8     San Angelo; many of these women have been honored for their unique

 2-9     contributions in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, which is

2-10     located in Fort Worth; and

2-11           WHEREAS, Today, internationally known rodeos in Houston, Fort

2-12     Worth, and San Antonio, as well as countless others across the

2-13     state, continue the Lone Star rodeo legacy and preserve this

2-14     invaluable link to our past; no other sport so embodies the

2-15     independence, fortitude, and courage exhibited by our state's

2-16     forebears, and thus the rodeo holds a special place in the hearts

2-17     of all Texans; now, therefore, be it

2-18           RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas

2-19     hereby declare rodeo to be the official sport of Texas.


         _______________________________     _______________________________

             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House

               I certify that H.C.R. No. 21 was adopted by the House on May

         2, 1997, by a non-record vote; and that the House concurred in

         Senate amendments to H.C.R. No. 21 on May 24, 1997, by a non-record



                                                 Chief Clerk of the House

               I certify that H.C.R. No. 21 was adopted by the Senate, as

         amended, on May 22, 1997, by a viva-voce vote.


                                                 Secretary of the Senate

         APPROVED:  _____________________