Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride group honors its fallen leader

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Larry Cantrell has spent much of the past week on horseback, as he leads The Spanish Trail's journey in the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride.

The group, which began its journey in Shepherd, Texas, has participated in the ride since 1961, but this year's event is bittersweet for Cantrell and his fellow riders.

Joe Cantrell, Larry's dad and longtime trail boss of The Spanish Trail, died in an accident at his home on Feb. 13.

"This was his life," said Larry. "We're here to preserve it for him."

The group admitted the week has been difficult, but they view the ride as the perfect way to honor Joe's memory.

"He's led us up the road many times," said rider Jim McGinnis. "We're celebrating his life."

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride first took place in 1952 when four men rode from Brenham to Houston to support the event.

Over 3,000 riders from Texas and Louisiana are participating in 2022, making their way to Memorial Park by Friday. The riders will then participate in the Rodeo Parade on Saturday, which you can watch exclusively on ABC13 at 10am.

"This is what we all do," said McGinnis. "Celebrate the tradition of Texas."
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