Fort Worth – where the West begins

Fort Worth – where the West begins

Fort Wort became famous during the great open-range cattle drives of the 19th century, when more than 10 million Texas Longhorn cattle trampled through the city on the Chisholm Trail. With horns up to 2m long, the breed descended from cattle brought over by Christopher Columbus and have a high drought-stress tolerance.

The Stockyards in Fort Worth are where the action is today. Cowboys walk around in boots and almost everyone wears ‘stetsons’. There’s a Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, original cattle pens where you get to see some of the Texan Longhorns and the rodeo in the evening.

At this we saw some wonderful cowboy skills: calf roping, barrel racing and bronco bull riding which was seriously dangerous for the cowboys. None stayed on for the full 8 seconds and several were seen limping off with what looked like broken limbs. We wondered why they do it, then learnt the top earner gets $2m income pa.

Hilary rode a Texas Longhorn Bull – which looks a bit like a Milton Keynes (a town in England) concrete cow in this photo, but honestly it was alive and very sweet natured.
The evening rodeo was staged in the historic Coliseum. It was a fun, family oriented event – mix of rodeo skills and children chasing animals around the arena. And an emotional parade of the Stars and Stripes.

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