The trail riders arrived en masse at Memorial Park today and I was onhand to capture it in pictures. This was the first time I watched them arrive despite being in town for the past 15 years. I have to say that it was pretty cool.

The coolest thing about them arriving was of course, all the amazing horses. There were some seriously beautiful mounts of every shape, color and size. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting kinda fired up about going to the livestock show. I am not a huge rodeo fan, but there are so many great animals at the show, that it is always fun wandering through.

Following closely behind the horses in terms of coolness would have to be the kids. I mean, how cool would it be to get to saddle up your horse and ride a week or more across the state, complete with covered wagons, wearing your best cowboy duds? I am sure that riding with all the old-timers makes this a moving Texas history lesson as well. Just seeing those flags standing tall at the head of the line of riders makes you proud to be in the Lone Star State.

In addition to the kids, there were authentic looking (except for the shirt – haha) old cowhands…

…and those of you who follow football will recognize the name of one of Texas’ biggest proponents and founder of the Dallas Cowboys’ Fan Club – “Cowboy” Bill Lamza Jr. I talked with Bill for about 30 minutes before we exchanged names and I realized who had been swapping Texas tales with me. He is a Lone Star institution as his card notes: Founding Member of the Cowboy Heritage Association * Associate Texas Ranger * Lifetime Member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo * Salt Grass Trail Rider * Rattlesnake Hunter * Marathoner * Recognized by Pope John Paul II and of course… Champion of Truth, Justice & the Cowboy Way!! … and not too shabby at self-promotion! (Finally, I think I may have met someone with a larger ego than me)

I also met a very nice lady named Scotty (sp?) who is a fellow shutterbug. We walked around taking shots and swapping photography stories, techniques, insights etc. It was really cool to find another enthusiast shooting the same thing… I look forward to seeing how our shots differ in terms of shot selection.