A blue ribbon Rodeo: Catholic schools students shine at HLSR

April 26, 2022

Students at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Houston participated in a Rodeo celebration that included dancing, stick-horse races and more. (Courtesy photo) 

HOUSTON — When a group of first grade students from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School made the trek to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR), it wasn’t a surprise to many when they squealed at the sight of a large longhorn.

Those students joined thousands of others who attended the Rodeo and participated in the Rodeo’s 2022 school art program, all from 95 public school districts and 54 private schools. Teachers sent more than 3,000 pieces of students’ artwork to the Rodeo for preliminary judging in January.

The judges selected 739 pieces of artwork to advance to the next round of judging on Jan. 30, where 72 students were selected to participate in the school art auction, which was held March 13.

A number of Catholic school students also participated in the art program. The annual program offers students in Pre-K through the 12th grade to compete in district shows, earn scholarships and display their work in the Hayloft Gallery during the Rodeo. These Catholic school students joined others from 130 different school districts in the Houston area.

Seven students, including Tam D., Noah P., Phoenix M., Ella L., Armando P., Isabella V., and Mia L., from St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Houston won awards of excellence, each depicting different parts of agriculture life, such as cows, tractors and cacti.

Emma Hansen, a third grade student at St. Laurence Catholic School, won first prize in the 2022 HLSR coloring contest. She was the first St. Laurence student to ever win the award and her work was displayed among others from all over Texas during the Rodeo in 2022.

A student from Corpus Christi Catholic School also won a blue ribbon award for the coloring contest.
At St. Rose of Lima, school students kicked off Rodeo season on Feb. 25 Go Texan Day with a special event that brought together parents and their students, teachers, faculty and staff for a Rodeo get down.

With everyone decked out in their best Western attire, students stomped their boots, waved their cowboy and cowgirl hats. Fathers danced with their daughters, and mothers danced with their sons. Even the faculty and staff enjoyed a few boot scootin’ boogies. The special program included student performances, games and other activities, like stick horse races.

St. Anne Catholic School in Tomball also rounded up its own stars, with several of their own winning ribbons and awards of excellence for their work. Maya S., Emma B., Vera S., Sonia M., Marcus S., Anna B., Meredith M., Theresa M., Kinley L., Jenelle C., and Claire U. all won awards of recognition for their art.

These students joined a long legacy of the nearly 10 million art pieces entered by students into the contest since 1965.

Students from St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School in the Bay Area also attended the Rodeo, among the more than 67,000 that visited the Agventure exhibit, where 760 chicks hatched, 32 piglets, 17 lambs and 15 calves were born, according to Rodeo officials.

This year the HSLR celebrated its 90th anniversary, welcoming back more than 2.4 million guests during its 24-day run. $22.2 million was committed for scholarships and education in 2022. Officials estimated that the livestock and horse show drew 34,310 entries, with junior auction sales totaling around $20.2 million.

The Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community.

Since 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $550 million to the youth of Texas and education.