The city of Fort Worth, Texas has a long and proud history at the center of the story of the American West. From the days of the Chisholm Trail and the great cattle drives of the late 19th century to the modern era of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, the city has always been a hub of Western heritage and tradition.
One of the most iconic symbols of that heritage is the Fort Worth Herd. Twice a day, longhorn cattle are driven through the streets of the Fort Worth Stockyards at 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM, a reenactment of the great cattle drives of the past.
At the heart of the Fort Worth Herd are the drovers, the cowboys and cowgirls who lead and care for the cattle on their daily drives. Historically, drovers were experienced riders who moved livestock “on the hoof” from one place to another. Today, these men and women are the modern-day keepers of the cowboy spirit, preserving the traditions and skills of their forebears for future generations.
The drovers of the Fort Worth Herd are a diverse group of individuals, ranging in age and skill level and hailing from all walks of life. Some are lifelong cowboys, born and raised on ranches and farms, while others are urbanites who have discovered a love for the cowboy way of life.
Regardless of their backgrounds, drovers share a deep passion for the cattle, the horses and the history of the Fort Worth Herd. They take great pride in their work and consider it a privilege to be able to share their love of the Western lifestyle with visitors from around the world.
The daily drives of the Fort Worth Herd are more than just a tourist attraction, however. They are also an important educational opportunity, offering visitors a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The drovers provide commentary and answer questions about the cattle, the horses and Western lifestyle. They explain the origins of the longhorn breed, the challenges and dangers of the cattle drives and the many skills and tools that cowboys used to survive and thrive in harsh rural environments.
In addition to their work with the Fort Worth Herd, many of the drovers also participate in other Western events and activities throughout the year. They compete in rodeos, participate in trail rides, and even teach horsemanship and cattle-handling skills to new generations of aspiring cowboys and cowgirls.