Farney Students Get Hands-On Western Experience on Rodeo Day

October 21, 2014

RodeoHouston representative Susan Pederson speaks to Farney Elementary School students during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo speaker’s committee visit to the school on Oct. 17.

Oct. 21, 2014—The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) took over Farney Elementary School on Oct. 17 as dozens of members of the RodeoHouston speakers committee presented various components of the rodeo culture during “Rodeo Day.”

The HLSR volunteer speakers stopped by Farney – one of the 35-40 schools they will visit throughout 2014-2015 – to share engaging lessons on topics such as cowboys and technology, Texas longhorn cattle, rodeo clowns, roping, cowboy clothing and country dancing.

RodeoHouston mascot “Cowboy” greeted car riders as they arrived at school in the morning, and students also enjoyed outdoor lessons with cows Clarabelle and Annabelle and horse Sweet Pea.

“Some of these kids have never been to the rodeo at all, so it’s exciting to be able to bring that experience to them,” said Christie Erickson, speakers committee special events coordinator. “It is a blasttTo be able to tell them about the history of the rodeo and the cowboy – how hats came around, the history of the rodeo clown who was there to protect the cowboy. It’s wonderful to see their eyes light up.”

Members of the speakers committee, which last visited Farney in 2010, came away impressed by their interactions with students.

“We were blown away by how smart those students were,” Erickson said. “We noticed that our speakers were routinely going over their allotted 25 minutes because they were getting so many great questions from the kids.”

Tricia Reilly was a first-year principal at Farney when the speakers committee last visited, and said she enjoyed the informative and exciting atmosphere surrounding Rodeo Day.

“It’s a great social studies lesson and it teaches a little bit about Texas and cowboys and Western life in general,” Reilly said. “Our PTO organized all this and got it going, and our assistant principals worked weeks to establish the schedule of rotations. These speakers enrich our campus so much by being willing to come. The students were pumped and we were so happy to welcome the Rodeo back to Farney.”

More information on the HLSR speakers committee is available on the RodeoHouston website.


HLSR speakers committee members William Sharber and Kevin Patton share a laugh as they lead the “Chicken Dance” for Farney Elementary School students during Rodeo Day on Oct. 17.


HLSR speakers committee member Sarah Lamond illustrates the benefits of bandanas for cowboys using Farney fourth-grade student Victoria Johnson as an example on Rodeo Day.


Farney fifth-grade teacher Traci Terry practices roping with HLSR speaker James Harris during his “Campfire Stories” rotation.


HLSR speaker Victoria Felton plays a song on a banjo for fourth-grade students during Rodeo Day.


HLSR speaker Scott Mendell illustrates the length of a Longhorn’s horns using Farney fourth-grade student Hannah Stutes as an example.


HLSR speaker Fran Mayon displays a lariat for Farney students during a roping session on Rodeo Day.


Farney first-grade student Addison Covin meets RodeoHouston mascot “Cowboy” on Rodeo Day.


RodeoHouston mascot “Cowboy” greets Farney second-grade student Travis Westbrook as he gets dropped off from school on Oct. 17.

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