This weekend the rodeo is lassoing in a bigger crowd by bringing in and celebrating more diversity.
It’s a Texas tradition that hasn’t always showcased its color to the fullest, but at 73 years old, Cleo Hearn, the founder of Cowboys of Color, has been riding on his dream to change that.
"A cowboy doesn't care about the color of your skin -- he just wants to know that you're a cowboy,” said Hearn.
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Cowboys of color from all over the country are heading to the Mesquite Rodeo for their National Finals Rodeo. The show mixes good old cowboy tricks and presents the history of cowboys of color in Texas.
"The theme of Cowboys of Color is: 'Let us educate you while we entertain you,'” said Hearn. “Let us tell you the wonderful things that blacks, Hispanics, and Indians did for the settling of the west that many history books left out."
The first rodeo Hearn ever put on was in 1968, but it's the 12th consecutive time Cowboys of Color have had their finals at the Mesquite Rodeo.
“Cowboys of Color is exciting, because it plays into every bit of our talents here at the arena,” said Jacob Moorehead, Mesquite Rodeo director of events. "This just adds another chapter to what rodeo means to America and the sport."
The event begins on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.