The 117th year of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is set and ready to take over the Will Rogers Complex and all of Fort Worth. And it is advertised as beginning January 18th, which is totally true – sort of.
If you want to do your heart good and get into the western mood of Fort Worth and the Rodeo then you need to head to the John Justin Arena Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday and Wednesday. These three days will feature the Chisholm Challenge for Special Riders. The events begin at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 14th and it will feature non-stop action through Wednesday, January 16th.
These special riders, who have trained and worked for months to compete in this event, are supposed to be labeled as “special needs”. But they have no special needs when they get up on horseback. They may not be able to appear on the school gridiron or basketball court or baseball diamond but they compete on the arena floor on their horse and you would in most cases never know they have a challenge.
These events are indeed a challenge. They are in some of the very events that the horse shows of AQHA or Paint Horse competitors will compete in during the Stock Show run. They are being judged just the same. There are no “gimme” awards here for showing up or an event where everyone in the event gets a blue ribbon. This is a competition where they can come away with a blue ribbon or no ribbon at all.
W.R. Watt Jr., then President/General Manager of the Stock Show initially added the three day events to the overall Stock Show several years ago and it has gotten bigger every year. But the true winners are us who get to watch and cheer on these fine young adults and kids as they show off their hard work on the big stage.
Truly, if you want to spend some quality time then head out to the Will Rogers Complex and Justin Arena and watch for yourself. It will be time well spent.