HOUSTON -- Leroy Shafer, the face of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for more than 40 years, announced Friday he's coming to the end of the trail.

He plans to step down as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Shafer announced he would take an emeritus role in September when he turns 70.

Shafer released the following statement:

Today I responded to a reporter's question about me having been at the Show for more than 40 years and about what how long I would continue working. I responded that I would remain involved in the Show as long as I was physically able to do so -- and I hope that is a long, long time. I do plan to step into a manager emeritus status at the end of September when I will turn 70 years old. I plan to continue to work with the Show in the realm of marketing, presentation, entertainment, crisis management and in any other areas that Show officials want my assistance. I definitely am not going away and I look forward to helping the Show continue to succeed in accomplishing it mission of supporting agriculture while benefitting youth and education.

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