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1st Annual George Ranch Rodeo to Honor Black Cowboy Legacy of Fort Bend County

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Rodeo Events | Kids’ Activities | Entertainment | Vendors | And More!


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Media Contact: Jennifer Farrell – – 281-382-0219

RICHMOND – Discover the enduring legacy of African American cowboys in Fort Bend County history on Saturday, February 16 at the first annual George Ranch Rodeo! Featuring all the favorite rodeo events (including bull-riding, team roping and steer-riding) plus kids’ activities, entertainment and vendors, the inaugural Rodeo will be a fun-filled day at the Ranch like no other!

“For more than 100 years, black cowboys played an essential role in Fort Bend County ranching operations. At the George Ranch specifically, four generations of black cowboys worked alongside four generations of the George family, leaving behind a rich legacy of black cowboy heritage that is unique to this part of Texas,” said Director of Programs Krystal Willeby. “The Rodeo grew out of a desire to celebrate the skills and contributions of these amazing individuals.”

This year’s event will showcase the history of black cowboys in Fort Bend County with a particular spotlight on brothers James and Willie Thomas. The Thomas brothers grew up at the George Ranch and, from a young age, rode anything they could – including Ranch pigs! Both brothers went on to compete in professional rodeos: James rode bare back until he left the cowboy life to serve in the U.S. Army and Willie became one of the best professional bull riders of his era. (Willie’s contributions to the field have now been recognized by the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.)

Debra Greenwood-Sharp, a member of the Fort Bend History Association’s Board of Trustees, said she is delighted to see her uncles’ ranching and rodeo accomplishments showcased for the community.

“I’m grateful – and so thankful! – for the opportunity to share and raise awareness for the legacy of the many black cowboys who trail blazed through history here at the George Ranch and elsewhere in Fort Bend County,” she said. “I’m definitely tickled that my uncles played a big part in that story, but I’m also extremely honored to help preserve the legacy of the black cowboys in this part of Texas.”

The Rodeo will feature special guest appearances by Genet Chenier, DJ R.E.M and DJ 281. Rodeo events include bull-riding, ladies’ barrel racing, steer-wrestling, tie-down calf-roping, ladies’ steer undecorating and team roping. Children’s rodeo events include mutton-busting, barrel racing, breakaway and tie-down. The slack starts at 9 a.m. with the grand entry at 6:30 p.m. and show time at 7 p.m.

“Our committee has worked tirelessly for months to ensure a fun-filled, exciting day here at the Ranch,” Greenwood-Sharp said. “You won’t want to miss it!”

Pre-sale tickets are currently available online. General Rodeo tickets include admission to the Arena only; Box seats include admission to the Arena and Historical Park. Pre-sale general admission cost is $5 for children ages four through 12 and $15 for adults. Box seats, which include admission to the Historical Park, are $12 for children ages four through 12 and $30 for adults. At-the-gate general admission tickets are $10 for children ages four through 12 and $20 for adults. At-the-gate box seats, which include admission to the Historical Park, are $17 for children ages four through 12 and $35 for adults.

For more information, visit or call 281-343-0218.

The stock contractor is R.R.J. Rodeo Enterprises. Entry is via text only starting February 11 from 6-10 p.m. Text 281-217-3951 to enter. Up-to-date negative Coggins are required; please bring an extra copy to the event. Major events are $65 with $3,000 added money. Mutton-busting is $20; junior/pee-wee events are $30.

 Gold Buckle Sponsors

Bronze Badge Sponsors

Friendswood Development Company 
Jane M. Goodsill
Tax Tech, Inc.
Triquest Management Services

Media Sponsor

absolutely! Focus Media


Jan & Bill Meitzen

Event Sponsors

Boot Barn | Gingerbread Kids Academy | Regina & Commissioner Vincent Morales
CeeCee & David Parker | Sins Forgiven Christian Center
Smith, Murdaugh, Little & Bonham, L.L.P. | The Law Office of Brian J. Knipling
MedExpress Urgent Care | Commissioner Grady Prestage

Special Friends

KWL Travel • Si Environmental, Inc. • Next Level Urgent Care • Sunbelt Rentals


Co-Chairs: Debra Greenwood-Sharp and Krystal Willeby

Mary Greenwood-Miller, Patti Parish-Kaminski, Lauren Samuelsen, Jan Billups-Meitzen, Paula Boyd, CeeCee Parker and Constance Greenwood-Bowie

The George Ranch Historical Park is located at 10215 FM 762 in Richmond. General admission for the Historical Park is $15 for adults ages 13+, $12 for seniors ages 65+ and $10 for children ages 4 to 12. Children three and under are free. Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 281-343-0218.

The George Ranch Historical Park is a living history museum that showcases Texas history from the 1830s through the 1930s. The Park is anchored by four different home sites: the 1830s Jones Stock Farm, 1860s Ryon Prairie Home, 1890s Davis Victorian Mansion and 1930s George Ranch Cattle Complex. Regular activities include historic home tours, living history demonstrations, hands-on activities, cattleworking and dipping vat demonstrations and more! Guests should allow three to four hours to visit the Park and should dress for the weather.

The George Ranch Historical Park is a living history partnership between the Fort Bend History Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and The George Foundation, a Texas Charitable Trust.