Trail-riding group arrives from Corpus Christi to kick off San Antonio’s rodeo season

South Texas Trail Riders completing 65th annual ride

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – After a night that included an enchilada dinner and dancing to a live band, members of the South Texas Trail Riders got up before the sun Thursday to saddle up and head out again.

The city of Floresville’s event center was one stop in a long trek on horseback for them that would end with the opening of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

“We started out in Corpus Christi, or Edroy, Texas, and we’re heading to San Antonio,” said Michael Dunn, trail boss for STTR. “It’s been great. The weather’s been great. We got a little bit of wind but no rain on the trails.”

Dunn and his group of roughly 50 riders left home late last week for their 65th annual trail ride.

Their goal, they said, is to preserve the tradition of cowboy culture.

“It’s all family. We’re friends but we’re family,” said Cheryl Darden, who was making her 17th journey.

This year, Darden had three generations of her family along for the ride.

That included her 10-year-old granddaughter, Savanna Golden, who was happy to show off her boots.

“They’re rainbow pattern with spurs,” Savanna said, proudly, looking down at her feet.

Raelynn Pollard, who also was attending with her parents, got a chance to take part in the trail ride for the first time.

“I can spend time with my horse and spend time with my family,” she said.

The Pollards represented a different kind of tradition that they say often gets overlooked.

“A lot of people have this misconception that there are not a whole lot of Black cowboys,” said Raelynn’s father, Jarred Pollard. “But there are more than you think. I have always taken pride in being a black cowboy.”

Workers with the city of Floresville prepared breakfast tacos and pancakes for the visiting trail-riders. (KSAT 12 News)

Before the group hit the road for what would be the final leg of their journey, they were able to sit down to breakfast, courtesy of the city of Floresville.

“Breakfast tacos and pancakes,” said Cecelia Gonzalez-Dippel, the city’s mayor. “It’s actually our city staff that’s doing all the cooking.”

Gonzalez-Dippel said this was the first year her city played host to the group in this way. They also served dinner and provided the entertainment for the group’s arrival in their city Wednesday night.

Although they also took part in feeding the trail riders last year, she said they decided to open their event center to give them a place to relax and get cleaned up.

After fueling up on food, the group mounted their horses and headed back out.

They expected to make one more stop for lunch before arriving in Bexar County on Thursday afternoon.

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

Recommended Videos