AUSTIN -- You'd expect to see cowboy boots at the Texas State Capitol, and maybe even a cowboy or two in downtown Austin, but what you don't expect to see outside of the pristine building are cattle.
Thursday Rodeo Austin celebrated its 75th anniversary by holding the Grand Champion Steer Selection in the same place it was held in 1938 -- West 11th Street and Congress Avenue.
"It's awesome," said Kate Bailey who brought her daughters to the event. "We're new to Texas. We're from Maryland originally, so this is all new to us. It's great!" Bailey's daughter Grace wants to see the cowboys.
Marvin Hamann came for the show. The 88-year-old showed off his steer in this same competition back in 1940.
"That was just when it was starting off, you know. But we did good though, it was a lot of people. We didn't have to have no security, nothing like that. Just clean hard work and boys and girls," Hamann remembered.
The show is much bigger now, but the rules haven't changed all that much. Teenage cowboys and cowgirls from around the state bring their cattle to the Star of Texas Rodeo. This year judge Chris Mullinix narrowed the field of 500 to the top 12 in their breed. From the 12, he will choose one Grand Champion Steer.
"I'm trying to evaluate those cattle first and foremost for consumer acceptance. I'm looking at those animals as an end product and something that can be that wholesome product we talked about for our consumer," Mullinix said.
Of course, they have to look good too.
All of the cattle will be auctioned off Friday, the money put into college scholarship funds for the teens who've raised them. No steer will be worth more than the grand champion.
This year that title went to Chuy, a steer raised by Shaylan Edwards.
"I can't even describe how exciting it is. Extremely, extremely excited. And, I mean, I put a lot of hard work into it. It's just awesome," Edwards said.
The Burnet High School junior already knows how she's going to spend her winnings.
"Part of it will go towards a steer for my senior yea,r and then the rest of it will go into my college fund," she said.
Last year's Grand Champion Steer sold for $60,000. Rodeo Austin is hoping Chuy can break that record.