Back on June 12, 1999, Carrot Top, Curley, Ned and Saw were in the first Fort Worth Herd that set off from Sundance Square to a new home in the Stockyards. It was the city’s 150th birthday.
The original longhorns have retired. But the Herd ambles on. On Thursday, 15 years later, Imperial Chex, Duramax, Ladies Man and Pugsley, among others, set off on the twice-daily “trail drive” on East Exchange Avenue, a must-see moment for visitors to Cowtown.
The Herd’s popularity has “gone far beyond our wildest expectations,” said former City Councilman Jim Lane.
“The whole idea was that it wasn’t about the steers, it was about educating people about who moved the steers. Cowboys didn’t look like John Wayne. They were Hispanic, they were black. Women. They all played an important role in moving millions of head of cattle” to market in the 19th century.
Since 2002, the trail boss has been Kristin Jaworski, and the drovers are a diverse lot.