By the numbers: The Houston Rodeo wraps up 2023 season

More than 760 chicks hatched in the Poultry Exhibit

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Opening Day February 28

HOUSTON – More than 2.4 million guests, a record-breaking 10 record-breaking auctions, more than 35,000 livestock and horse show entries and more: The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show 2023 year by the numbers.

🎫 Attendance:

  • Total attendance for all activities on the grounds, Feb. 23 – 25 (World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings) and Feb. 28 – March 19, 2023 (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) reached 2,479,004.
  • In three days, the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest entertained 214,903 guests.
  • Showtime highest daily total attendance from 2023: first: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – 165,623 second: Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 159,610 third: Saturday, March 18, 2023 – 146,489 fourth: Sunday, March 19, 2023 – 140,521 fifth: Sunday, March 12, 2023 – 139,912.
  • Paid rodeo/concert attendance reached 1,355,367. Highest paid rodeo/concert performances from 2023: first: Sunday, March 19, 2023 – Luke Bryan – 74,779 second: Saturday, March 11, 2023 – Turnpike Troubadours – 74,657 – 73,757 third: Saturday, March 18, 2023 –Brad Paisley – 74,577 – 73,259 fourth: March 3, 2023 – Black Heritage Day, presented by Kroger – Bun B’s Southern Takeover – 74,573 fifth: Saturday, Friday, March 17, 2023 – Cody Johnson – 73,144

🎠 At the carnival:

  • Approximately 2.8 million rides were taken at the carnival.
  • The five most popular rides were XL Le Grande, Wheel Raptor, Coaster, Sky Ride and the Coaster Rave Wave.
  • 125 semi-trucks full of carnival prizes were brought to the 2023 Rodeo.
  • Approximately 725,000 prizes were won at the games. The most popular prizes were Squishmallows, Ramen Pillow, Bob Ross and Howdy H Pokemo.
  • The most popular food items were turkey legs, corn dogs, fried Oreos and funnel cakes.

MORE: From ‘Best Fried Food’ to ‘Best Food-on-a-Stick,’ here are RodeoHouston’s award-winning eats

🐣 Agventure:

  • Approximately 71,000 people participated in a scheduled school tour or field trip.
  • More than 16,000 little cowboys and cowgirls rode the pony rides.
  • Approximately 700 chicks hatched in the Poultry Exhibit.
  • Fifty-five piglets, 17 lambs and 15 calves were born at the Birthing Center.

🤠 Houston Rodeo merchandise:

  • Nearly 200,000 individual items of Rodeo and entertainer merchandise went home with fans, including 108,000 caps and T-shirts, and koozies. Plus, over 36,000 reusable bags, and over 11,000 lapel pins.

🐮 Livestock and horse show:

  • Livestock and horse show competitions drew 35,320 entries
  • Junior auction sales totaled $22,617,879 (unaudited preliminary totals). - Barrow: $4,201,875 - Junior Commercial Steer: $1,169,968 (live auction of choice steers) - Lamb and Goat: $3,445,132 - Poultry: $3,302,960 - School Art: $2,565,911 - Steer: $7,932,033.
  • Eight auction Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion lots set Rodeo records. Junior Market Barrow Grand Champion: $375,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $320,000 (Rodeo record) Junior Market Pen of Broilers Grand Champion: Grand Champion: $300,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $175,000 (Rodeo record) Junior Market Goat Grand Champion: $240,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $135,000 Junior Market Lamb Grand Champion: $350,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $160,000 Junior Market Steer Grand Champion: $550,000 Junior Market Turkey Grand Champion: $200,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $195,000 (Rodeo record) School Art Grand Champion: $275,000 (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $185,000 Wine Grand Champion: $325,000. (Rodeo record) Reserve Grand Champion: $165,000.
  • Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction: $2,795,200
  • Ranching & Wildlife: $463,730
  • Calf scramble and judging contest winners received 374 certificates, each worth $2,250, to apply toward the purchase of a registered beef heifer or steer to exhibit at the 2024 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Certificate premiums totaled $841,500.
  • Calf scramble exhibitors from 2022 who returned with their heifer or steer projects to compete at the 2023 Houston Livestock Show received more than $100,000 total in premiums and awards.
  • The Super Scramble competition was added in 2022, where the 19 “First Catch” scramblers from each of the previous 19 Calf Scramble performances were invited to participate in the event Sunday, March 19, 2023. The 19 scramblers had an extra chance to catch one of the nine calves during the event, and each participant was awarded a cash prize based on their performance. The event awarded an additional $42,000 in cash prizes for Texas youth.

🍎 Scholarships and education:

  • The Rodeo committed $22,560,562 to the youth of Texas in 2023: - $14,286,000 in scholarships to be awarded this summer; - $5,292,250 to junior show exhibitors; - $2,517,722 in educational program grants; and - $464,590 in graduate assistantships.

🏆 Houston Rodeo:

  • RODEOHOUSTON committed $2.178 million to its contestants in 2023.
  • The 2023 RODEOHOUSTON Super Series invited the world’s top rodeo athletes to compete in eight traditional rodeo events. - RODEOHOUSTON introduced its second women’s only event to the competition, Breakaway Roping. - RODEOHOUSTON Super Series athletes competed for a share of $2,178,000 in prize money. Each event champion rode out of NRG Stadium with $50,000, plus winnings from the preliminary rounds.
  • The 2023 RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Champions, with total money earned, are: - Bareback Riding: Leighton Berry: Weatherford, Texas – $57,375 - Barrel Racing: Jordon Briggs: Tolar, Texas – $58,000 - Breakaway Roping: Hali Williams: Comanche, Texas – $53,750 - Bull Riding: Ky Hamilton: Beaver, Utah – $62,000 - Saddle Bronc Riding: Sage Newman: Melstone, Montana – $56,750 - Steer Wrestling: Dalton Massey, Stanfield, Oregon – $54,250 - Team Roping: Rhen Richard: Roosevelt, Utah; and Jeremy Buhler, Maricopa, Arizona– $111,500 ($55,750 each). - Tie-Down Roping: : Riley Webb: Denton, Texas – $55,625.
  • For 2023, RODEOHOUSTON split its Wild Card Round into a two-day event, eliminating the RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout from the schedule. The money from RODEOHOUSTON’s previous one-day Super Shootout event was redistributed towards the Super Series purse paying down to 5th and 6th places. 360 contestants competed over the 20-day event.
  • RODEOHOUSTON added two new local qualifiers for 2023 – Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo in Rosenberg, Texas and Waller County Fair and Rodeo in Hempstead, Texas.

The information above was provided by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

About the Authors:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.