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The Catalena Cowgirls have been a fixture of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for nearly 10 years. Their pre-rodeo performances have dazzled audiences from across the state. But to the disappointment of the Bryan/College Station based group, they will not be a part of the rodeo next year.
"What we did and the way we brought the colors of the flag and presented the National Anthem, made a lot of people really proud to be Americans," says Joanna Spencer.
Spencer has been a Catalena Cowgirl for 10 years and says performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also made her proud. Sammy Catalena and his brother Pete run the equestrian group and say they were told that budget cutbacks were to blame for their departure. But rodeo officials say it was simply a business decision and that the group is no longer needed. Catalena says the group is still going strong.
"We were a team way before Houston and of course we're a team after Houston. We've got some good opportunities out there that's opening up for us right now. "
Still, the ladies in the group say they will miss performing at the Houston rodeo.
"We're sad. We're all very sad. We understand that things come to an end. We love the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and would love to go back some day," says Spencer.