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The Texas tradition of trail rides officially begins this week signaling the arrival of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Members of the Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston started their trek on Saturday, February 17 from West Columbia.

Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston
Mama Sugar of Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston

This family-oriented group has grown to more than 300 horseback riders and 10 wagons from their humble beginnings in 1973 with four wagons. In celebration of the history and legacy of the Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston, this year members salute the “Mother” of the Trail Ride, Maxine Williams.  Ms. Williams is 101 years old and has been riding the trail for over 30 years. Members spearheaded by Mama Sugar (Nathan J. Sanders-Sugar, pictured right) will honor her during a private event on Wednesday, February 21 at a midway point on their journey.

The Southwestern Trail Riders of Houston are a regular sighting in the Pearland area during this time of year.  Normally they make overnight camp at Tom Bass Park right outside Pearland near Beltway 8 and Highway 288. However, this year road construction improvements taking place on Beltway 8 altered the route for the Southwestern Trail Riders group. Their route keeps them just west of Pearland, click here to see the full route.

Their final destination is Houston’s Memorial Park on Friday, February 23rd for an Awards Ceremony by the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Officials in preparation for the Rodeo Parade in Downtown Houston on Saturday, February 24th. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Bagby and Walker Streets in Downtown Houston.

Pearland hotels during Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo rides into NRG Stadium on Tuesday, February 27 running through Sunday, March 18.  Pearland is a popular destination for Rodeo attendees as the closest neighboring city with easy access to NRG and more affordably priced hotels.