21st Annual Cattle Drive on Altus AFB kicks off PRCA Great Plains Stampede Rodeo

21st Annual Cattle Drive on Altus AFB kicks off PRCA Great Plains Stampede Rodeo
Airmen and their families lined streets to watch as base leadership and rodeo team members pushed the cattle through Altus Air Force Base.

ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - About 30 Longhorn cattle walked three miles across the Altus Air Force Base as part of the 21st Annual Cattle Drive. It’s held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual PRCA Great Plains Stampede Rodeo.

Airmen and their families lined streets to watch as base leadership and rodeo team members pushed the cattle through Altus Air Force Base. It’s a tradition that started on August 26, 1999, and not much has changed, just the folks that watch the cattle go by.

“It’s always an amazing thing to see little kids faces, and even grown up kids faces whenever dinner comes trotting past your house,” said Shawn Parker, the Vice President of the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo Committee.

Colonel Matthew Leard is the Wing Commander for the 97th Air Mobility Wing and says the cattle drive is one of those things that make Altus special.

“No where else in the military are we going to be putting on hats and driving cattle through a military installation," Col. Leard said. "This is special for all of us here in Altus.”

Of Colonel Jack Flynt’s 21 years in the Air Force, this is a first. And he embraced the cowboy role, but kept his primary job in mind.

“It’s a great reminder of what we are here to do," said Col. Flynt. "To be able to defend the freedoms that allow us to enjoy this event today.”

The cattle drive is held in conjunction with the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo. Thursday through Saturday night, folks can head out to arena on South Veterans Drive for some rodeo.

“We have the NFL of cowboys and cowgirls," said Parker. "We’ll have the standard 7 events plus some local events to keep everyone entertained for three hours. You can’t beat it anywhere.”

Thursday is military appreciation night. Friday is Family Night and Saturday’s theme is Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Performances start at 8 o’clock.

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