The Fort Worth Stock Show has a storied history of attracting very famous people to its rodeo performances.
Legendary Hollywood western actors Roy Rogers and Dale Evans visited and performed. Michael Eisner was in the audience when he was CEO of the Walt Disney Co. Major League Baseball legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan was at the Stock Show on Wednesday night to watch the Bulls Night Out, a pro rodeo bull riding performance.
But on Tuesday night, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, was in the crowd and watched the bull riding competition at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. The social media tycoon was a guest of Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price. He posted on his Facebook page that it was his first rodeo.
Zuckerberg was the process of visiting all 50 states throughout 2017.
Matt Brockman, the Stock Show’s publicity director, said Zuckerberg was very interested in learning about the people who participate in the Fort Worth Stock Show.
“I was impressed with his sincerity and his inquisitiveness,” Brockman said of Zuckerberg. “He was truly interested in what the cattle exhibitors did, and in their lives, and in the lives of the bull riders. He visited with a couple of bull riders and with (1988 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world all-around champion) Dave Appleton.
“It was refreshing to see somebody that comes from that walk of life that obviously is the CEO of a major corporation, that’s very public, come to the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo and be so inquisitive about what goes on here.”
Facebook is no stranger to Fort Worth. The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant is building a data center complex in the Alliance area at 4500 Like Way. The project is expected to include five buildings providing up to 2.5 million square feet and the company now has about 150 acres of land in Fort Worth.