Michael Cook wrestles a winner at RodeoHouston Calf Scramble

As one of the first RodeoHouston calf scramble participants in Reliant Stadium, Michael Cook of Brady lined up with 27 other young men and women in an exciting pursuit. Strength and determination took over as Michael managed to capture one of 14 elusive calves and pull it into the winners’ square during the March 5 performance of Rodeo-Houston. In exchange for his successful scramble, Michael, a McCulloch County 4-H student at Brady High School, will receive a $1,000 calf purchase certificate donated by Cavender’s Boot City. The certificate is to be used for the purchase of a registered beef heifer. This is the beginning of a yearlong project of grooming, feeding and caring for the heifer. Supervised by Jerry Kidd, Micheal’s County Extension Agent, he must keep accurate and detailed records of the animal’s progress, submitting records to both the Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTMand the donor to chronicle the heifer’s development. In 2004, Michael will return with his animal to the Houston Livestock Show in Reliant Center for a special competition and a $250 bonus from his donor. “Since its beginning in 1942, the calf scramble has been one of the most popular rodeo events. The spectacle of 28 youngsters chasing 14 calves around the huge arena creates unmatched excitement and some unforgettable moments,” said Jim Winne, chairman for the Calf Scramble Donors Committee, one of the show’s 90 volunteer committees. “Thanks to the generosity of the certificate donors, young men and women from across the state of Texas have a chance to raise and care for a heifer. The Houston calf scramble program is a wonderful learning experience for these boys and girls. It is a yearlong commitment which includes a lot of hard work and dedication,” he said. Each year approximately 360 calf purchase certificates are donated. Since the calf scramble was added to the show in 1942, a total of $7,042,000 has been awarded in certificates for the purchase of 16,066 animals. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a 501 (c)(3) charity, committed to benefiting youth and supporting education throughout the state. Since presenting its first scholarships in 1957, the show has committed more than $92 million in scholarships, endowments and other educational contributions for the youth of Texas. RodeoHouston runs through March 16 and features professional rodeo action and some of the music industry’s hottest superstars in concert. Stars making their way to the Reliant Stadium for the 20-day event include winners of multiple Grammy, American Music, Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards. Tickets for the rodeo performances are available through all Ticketmaster outlets and at Reliant Park.

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