Each January the National Western Stock Show in Denver serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, the “Super Bowl” of Livestock Shows, nationally recognized Horse Shows, and Colorado’s largest Western Trade Show.
Before this event became what it is today, it started with a thought in 1905 when agriculturalists realized the need to hold an annual stock show to demonstrate better breeding and feeding techniques to area stockmen. This first event was in 1906 and was originally limited to the western United States.
However, the show was expanded by 1908 to include entrants from around the world. In 1908, the event also included the first horse show, then a rodeo was added in 1931. By 1981 the organization owned numerous buildings, more than twenty acres of stockyards, several acres of parking, and total assets of about five million dollars
According to Wikipedia, their mission is "To preserve the western lifestyle by providing a showcase for the agricultural industry through an emphasis on education, genetic development, innovative technology and offering the world's largest agricultural marketing opportunities." They live this mission by having the proceeds from the National Western Stock Show go to the National Western Scholarship Trust. The Trust awards 64 scholarships annually to students studying agriculture and medicine to practice in rural areas at colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming. Pretty darn great for our state!
The horse show has to be my favorite part of the show. I love horses. Today the Horse Shows at the annual National Western Stock Show are among the largest in the world with more than 18,000 entries at the 2006 event, including Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, Hunters & Jumpers, FUSE Open Horse Shows, Mules Shows, and the Draft Horse Show & Pull. Pretty exciting.
Some of the events held during the stock show include the Citizen of the West banquet, the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions, Ag Adventure, Pony Trails interactive education area, Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, the Martin Luther King Junior African-American Heritage Rodeo, Professional Bull Riding performances, An Evening of Dancing Horses dressage and reining demonstrations, Wild West Shows, Super Dogs, Dodge Freestyle Reining competition, $40,000 Grand Pr-ix, Downtown Denver Stock Show Parade and the International Livestock Congress. The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) also holds its Touring Pro Division (minor-league tour) Finals at the stock show every January.
If this event is something you haven't experienced before, you should definitely check it out this month. Great event for the whole family. I went a few years ago and had a wonderful time exploring the arena and all it had to offer. Hope you enjoy my memories from my visit to the National Western Stock Show. If you are in Denver in January, this is something you should do while it is in town. If you have been before, please drop a comment and let us know what you thought.