HCSO Jr. Mounted Posse: The Tradition Lives On
With the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo just around the corner, Houstonians are buzzing with anticipation for the arrival of one of the most beloved, well-attended events in our community. Hundreds of groups, local businesses, and thousands of individuals band together during this special time of year to bring this event to life in support of the Greater Houston Area, particularly our youth.
One group, the Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse, has dutifully participated in pony express relay rides to deliver invitations to surrounding counties for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for over 70 years. Despite the advancement of technology and consequently, the dissemination of information about events like HLSR, traditions like this are worth keeping, especially since the Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse is the oldest youth mounted drill team in Texas and, quite possibly, the nation.
Members of the Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse. (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Comprised of Houston area youth ages 6 to 20, this co-ed equestrian mounted drill team works together with the Harris County Sheriff's Office to deliver the invitations through two or even three rides during the month of January. The rides are a highly anticipated, time-honored tradition that bring communities together from citizens to government officials across multiple counties. At each stop during the rides, there is a ceremony attended by local police, fire chiefs, mayors, city counsels, county judges, and the general public for the presentation of an invitation. To commemorate the rides, wooden batons and a cowboy hat are signed by sheriffs and other individuals at Commissioner's Court before the rides kick off. Riders then carry the signed batons in one-mile increments, with each participant taking on a total of six to seven legs during each ride.
HCSO Chief Deputy Mike Lee (left) and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez (right) signing batons for the Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse's 2023 relay rides. (Source: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
On January 14, eight youth riders saddled up early in the morning to head west for their first relay ride covering 40 miles. Starting at the Colorado County Courthouse in Columbus, the riders traveled to City Hall in Weimar and concluded the ride at the Lavaca County Courthouse in Hallettsville. Along the way, riders and their horses were given support by teams of Harris County Sheriff's Office sheriffs and volunteers, helping riders safely transition from one stop to the next.
Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse in Hallettsville, Texas. (Source: Hallettsville Police Department)
"The biggest thing about being a member of the Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse is the positive interaction that my son gets to have with law enforcement, and the fact that we get to show that to the world. We are here to show them that these are good people who really care. Our role is to be goodwill ambassadors to the Harris County Sheriff's Office," said Dalyn Bussey, lead drillmaster for the Posse and mom to one of the youngest members.
For the second relay ride, riders met in Waller bright and early on January 28 to head north on Tomball, followed by Magnolia and Navasota. Covering 60 miles, riders were seen on common roadways such as FM 2920, again with the support of the Harris County Sheriff's Office and volunteers. Once in Navasota, riders were welcomed with a celebratory barbecue cook-off.
Harris County Sheriff's Office Jr. Mounted Posse in Tomball, Texas. (Source: City of Tomball)
Fortunately, after so many years completing these rides, the routes are essentially set, simplifying the planning process. But there is still quite a bit of planning involved to make these rides happen. Each fall, the Harris County Sheriff's Office assists with planning and coordinating the rides to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
On Saturday, February 4, the Harris County Sheriff's Office Junior Mounted Posse will be hosting tryouts for new members. Youth, both male and female, ages six to 20 are invited to attend for their chance to become part of this Junior Mounted Posse. The only requirements for the program are that participants must own a horse and have a trailer.
If you missed your opportunity to see the Harris County Sheriff's Office Junior Mounted Posse in action during their relay rides this year, not to worry - they will be in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo parade on Saturday, February 25 in Downtown Houston. For more information about the parade, please visit this website.
To learn more about the Harris County Sheriff's Office Junior Mounted Posse, please visit their website at hcsojuniorposse.weebly.com.
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.
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