Back in the Saddle Again

Livestock show, rodeo set for next week

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 2/10/22

For the Katy Rodeo, “Back in the Saddle Again” is not only a popular country song written in 1939 by the late Gene Autry. It is instead a theme as it comes back following last year’s pandemic-compelled cancellation.

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Back in the Saddle Again

Livestock show, rodeo set for next week

Posted

For the Katy Rodeo, “Back in the Saddle Again” is not only a popular country song written in 1939 by the late Gene Autry. It is instead a theme as it comes back following last year’s pandemic-compelled cancellation.

“We’re back, and were back in the works,” JimE Voight, Katy Rodeo chairman and president, said.

The Katy ISD FFA Livestock Show is from Feb. 15-19. The rodeo is from Feb. 17-19. Both events will be at the Katy ISD Agricultural Services Center, 5801 Katy Hockley Cut Off Road.

The livestock show and rodeo are separate entities. But until last year, they were staged together for decades, with rodeo proceeds benefiting the FFA programs at the Katy ISD high schools.

Last year, the livestock show went on as scheduled, albeit with coronavirus protocols. But the rodeo was cancelled.

There is one big change as things return to normal for the rodeo this year. Voight became rodeo chairman and president, taking over for Gary Johnson, who retired and is a board adviser now.

Johnson held the position for the last 14 years. He said he’s helped groom Voight for the role.

“He’s done a real good job of putting things together,” Johnson said. “He’s been on the board for the past 20 years.”

Voight, 63, said he began his rodeo participation when he was six years old.

“I wasn’t working on a committee back then, but I was competing,” Voight said. He said he was a roper and that remains his favorite part of the rodeo.

“That’s what I do,” Voight said. “I prefer to watch them. The whole rodeo is great. But I love the youth events, especially the calf scramble. I enjoy watching the kids giving it their all they’ve got to catch a calf.”

The last day of the livestock show and rodeo features the Katy Rodeo Parade. The parade is set for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 19. It runs from the Rhodes Stadium parking lot south on Katyland Drive, then west on Highway 90 west to FM 1463, where it turns south and ends at Katy High School.

“If the weather’s good, it’s just a good event for local businesses and youth organizations and even older organizations, like the Elks or the Lions Club, to be seen by the public,” Voight said. “You don’t necessarily have to have a float. It’s just an old-time standard. The parade goes along with the livestock show and rodeo. People can go to the parade. It’s free. You see a lot of things. Maybe they can’t go to the rodeo but they can at least go to the parade.”

Raymond and Liz Dollins are the parade marshals. Voight described Dollins as a rice farmer for a lot of years, lifelong Katy resident and an active rodeo supporter.

“His kids all went through the Ag program at Katy,” Voight said. “I don’t remember not knowing him.”

Voight said no new events have been added, nor were any events removed. Looking forward, he said, the rodeo hopes to put in place online ticket sales.

“People like to go online and buy their tickets,” Voight said.

“We haven’t added any events, or taken any events away.” Voight said.

Local service organizations remain an important part of the rodeo’s operations.

“The VFW does a lot of our ticket sales,” Voight said. “They do the pre-sales and gate sales. They man the gates to get the tickets. They have been a big blessing to us. We make a donation to them each year.”

Voight said the Lions Club runs the rodeo carnival.

“They work with the carnival contractor,” Voight said. “Whatever proceeds they get from the carnival, they split with us.”

The rodeo has a similar arrangement with the Knights of Columbus for concessions.

“They run all her concessions,” Voight said. “The cooking, serving, everything. The profits they make they split with the rodeo.”

Voight said the rodeo is always looking for sponsors, though if one were to sign up right now, it would be difficult to create a sign saying as much in time for the show.

“If nothing else, we would like to have them contact us and talk about them being included next year,” Voight said. “It’s all about the kids anyway. If we can’t get something done, and they want to help this year, we redirect them to the livestock auction on Saturday.”

FFA, Katy ISD, livestock show, rodeo

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