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Father, daughter duo leave their mark on RodeoHouston

Bareback rider Clint Cannon and his daughter, Kaitlyn, won awards of their own a decade apart at RodeoHouston.

HOUSTON — It might not be the rodeo floor, but during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the hallway inside NRG Center is a stage of its own -- showcasing some of the best artwork from students in the Houston area.

Kaitlyn Cannon, from Waller, is one of those artists taking part in the HSLR's School Art Program.

Her work is on display outside of Hall D.

"It's a picture of a cowboy and the sky behind him," the fourth grader said.

Kaitlyn, 9, is one of about 800 artists out of the 200,000 who participated to receive a Best of Show, Gold Medal or Special Merit award.

"Makes me feel pretty good," she said.

This is hardly Kaitlyn's first rodeo. In fact, rodeo -- in particular, RodeoHouston -- was a big part of her life even before she was born.

"Just seeing all, like, the athletes with great talents. That and all the horses and animals. It's really fun," she said about the experience.

Her dad, Clint Cannon, is a former RodeoHouston champion.

"Two-time champion at RodeoHouston -- in 2009 and 2011," Clint said.

He was a bareback rider who rode for 20 years professionally. It's no surprise what Kailyn gravitates towards.

"Mostly horse drawings," she said about her portfolio of work.

But her inspiration is also drawn from something her dad passed down beside a love of horses -- a notebook of her father's old drawings.

"He gave it to me and it was filled with old drawings of his. And then we just draw every night," Kaitlyn said.

As it turns out, Clint's first rodeo dreams weren't just to be an athlete, but an artist whose work was featured where Kaitlyn's is.

"I tried my whole life to do that. And I didn't make it. From first grade all the way to my senior year, I was always in art trying and my goal was, like, 'I'm gonna make it to RodeoHouston,'" Clint said.

He just took a different kind of ride to get there.

A generation later, Kaitlyn couldn't have drawn it up any better.

"She beat me to it," Clint said.

Kaitlyn said she already has her subject for next year's program -- a rodeo picture of her dad.

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