Around the flock: Livestock competitors put in long hours

LOS FRESNOS — Ty Rhyner, a Rio Hondo resident, works year-round to make sure his livestock are ready for competition, and his work paid off Friday.

Rhyner was the grand champion winner of the heifer competition and the overall champion of the market sheep and reserve competition at the Cameron County Fair and Livestock Show in Los Fresnos.

“It feels great. I just enjoy coming to these shows, but when you do well, it shows that the hard work you put in year-round paid off in the end,” Rhyner said.

The hard work does not end for Rhyner as he has more shows to prepare for.

“It’s pretty much go, go, go the whole time,” Rhyner said. “It’s pretty hectic for me this time of year.”

Many people were in attendance to see the judging of the livestock, including Robert Lopez, a resident of Los Fresnos, who wanted to support his son Robert Jr. and his daughter Lorena.

“They’ve (presented in the livestock show) for a long time. It’s taught them to be real confident, and it keeps them busy,” Lopez said. “If you see how the kids here hold the animals — that takes practice. You have to practice all that.”

After Lopez’s children finished their shows, he said he planned to take them to the fair grounds for some family fun.

For the people not interested in the livestock show itself, the Heart of America Carnival has plenty to offer, according to the Los Fresnos PRCA Rodeo website.

All around the grounds, people will find drink and food booths, games, and rides. Festivities will last until midnight each day.

“We’re looking forward to it. In the evening, it’s beautiful. There are lights, people, kids, animals, a lot of things that are out there to see,” Lopez said. “We’ll get on a few rides, get some funnel cake, things like that.”

Today and Sunday, visitors can see the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeo, which will feature seven events: saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bareback riding, bull riding, protection bullfighting, women’s barrel racing, tie down roping and team roping.

A few concert performances will also be available.

Parking will cost $5. Admission into the carnival is free, but tickets are required to see the rodeo and concerts. The fairgrounds are located at 500 E. Ocean Blvd. in Los Fresnos.

To check pricing and availability, visit