Altus Air Force Base's 10th Annual Cattle Drive kicks off - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Altus Air Force Base's 10th Annual Cattle Drive kicks off

Altus_The Air Force met the "old west" in Altus on Thursday as longhorn cattle filled the streets during Altus Air Force Base's 10th Annual Cattle Drive.  More than 30 longhorn were driven across the base by 50 riders who saddled up to showcase a slice of Oklahoma history, and ramp folks up for the 30th Annual Great Plains Stampede Rodeo.

"Moo" isn't a sound often heard on an Air Force base - except at Altus on Thursday.  Hundreds looked on as the longhorn were set loose to show those on base a little bit of the old southwest.  Staff Sergeant Todd O'Bryant, along with four dozen other riders, herded the cattle across the base.  "We've got a lot of people who've never seen a cow before," he said.  "Being here in the southwest, where that's part of the heritage - that's what people do for a living."

Base Commander Colonel David Allvin saddled up to join the drive, and for what he said is his fourth time on a horse, he handled the reins well.  "It's a great opportunity to get a little piece of the local community here, and something that people don't often get to see," he said.  Kids from the base's schools got to see the drive up close and personal.  However, the stampede isn't only about the cattle.  "It's just a fantastic opportunity," said Allvin.  "Most of us here haven't ridden, so it's also for the leadership." 

After the drive comes a hefty clean up effort, but it's all a part of the great tradition of cattle ranching in Oklahoma - one that the base says it's going to keep strong.  The Great Plains Stampede Rodeo kicks off Thursday evening with a military appreciation BBQ dinner for military personnel.  Friday is family night, and on Saturday, the event finale is a rodeo dance.  All weekend long will be filled with traditional rodeo events such as bucking bulls, barrel racing, team roping, and miniature bull riding.  Tickets are available at the door.

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