The first ever Summer Stampede at the George H. Henderson Expo Center is in the books.  The fundraiser for the Expo Center featured 16 area teams competing in such events as bull ridin', cattle roundup and bronc ridin'.

Okay, it was a mechanical bull, the cows in the cattle roundup were actually balloons, and contestants were riding 'hippity-hoppity' balls instead of wild horses.  Oh...and the cowboys and cowgirls were actually area bankers, policemen, insurance agents and other business professionals.

After a delicious meal of ribeye steak sandwiches served up by the Roundtable, 16 teams made up of 5 members each gave onlookers plenty of social media material in this combination of a rodeo, elementary school field day and the TV show Wipeout.

The teams competed in the following five categories:

Pole Bending

One team member mounts their stick horse and then weaves between the poles in a serpentine pattern towards the end of the route, then circles the last pole and weaves back to the finish line.

Bronc Riding

One team member rides a huge, hoppity ball down their team's lane.  That person then circles the pole at the end of the lane and rides back down the lane across the finish line.

Steer Roping

One team member rides his/her stick horse to the end of their team's lane.  Then, they must completely lasso both horns of the fake steer's head.  Once that is done, they race back to the finish line.

Bull riding

One team member mounts the mechanical bull and tries to stay on for 20 seconds.  Rider is judged on style, rhythm, and other unique variables.  Some of those unique variables witnessed included riding while holding on with no hands and riding shirtless.

Cattle Roundup

All five team members using only a broom try to sweep their team-colored balloons back into their respective chute gate.  An added degree of difficulty comes from the huge fans in the Expo Center causing the balloons to always be on the move.

The overall team winner taking home the gold horseshoe trophy was McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.  Second place when to Kovar Wealth Management, while third place went to Advanced Financial Group.  The team from UBank won the overall Showmanship Award.

Other teams competing included: Morgan Insurance, Lufkin Police Department, Southside Bank, Goodwin Lassiter Strong, Nature's Eye, Commercial Bank of Texas, Lufkin Coca Cola, Vera Bank, Leadership Lufkin Alumni, Brookshire Brothers, Regions Bank and Security and Guarantee Abstract.

The title sponsor of the event was Angelina Forest Products.

Proceeds benefitted the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo Center which is a non-profit facility.  They receive no funds from the City of Lufkin or Angelina County.  One of their biggest fundraisers (Expo Party) has been cancelled the past two years due to COVID-19 concerns.

Summer Stampede 2021


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