National Western Stock Show continues Western tradition; Kick-Off Parade set for Jan. 9 |

National Western Stock Show continues Western tradition; Kick-Off Parade set for Jan. 9

Story and Photos by Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Kiowa, Colo.
Mike Lee, Decatur, Tex., rides a bull during the 2013 PBR finals at the NWSS. The

The National Western Stock Show

The National Western Stock Show is held in Denver at the NWSS complex near I-25 and I-70.

Nearly 630,000 people attended the event last year.

This year’s Stock Show is set for Jan. 11-26.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (888) 551-5004, at the NWSS Box Office, or at any King Soopers locations.

Event tickets include free grounds admission.

Regular grounds admission is $10-19, depending on the day.

The National Western Stock Show is a historic event for Denver, and one that citizens across the country are sure not to miss. Livestock shows, family activities, rodeos and sales are just a fraction of what the NWSS offers to attendees.

The Stock Show, held in Denver, is entering its 108th year. It begins with the annual Kick-Off Parade in downtown Denver, which, this year, is set for Jan. 9.

Then the livestock shows begin on Jan. 11.

The NWSS is a premier place for producers of many livestock species to exhibit their animals to a judge, and to the general public. The events that take place over the 16 days of the stock show range from cattle shows to youth showmanship, market classes and draft horse competitions.

The NWSS hosts one of the largest cattle shows in the country, where producers can take their animals and compete as individuals, in pens of three, or in a carload, which is a set of 10.

According to the NWSS, “More than 15,000 head of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, alpacas, bison, yak, poultry and rabbits step foot on the grounds of the National Western Stock Show each year. The National Western Stock Show is noted for hosting the world’s only carload and pen cattle show, held in the historic Denver Union Stockyards.”

The shows allow producers to showcase their genetic programs, and for students to show their market animals. During the show, 25 different breeds of cattle will compete, including Gelbvieh, Red Angus, Black Angus, Limousin, Hereford, Charolais, Shorthorn, and Simmental cattle, just to name a few.

The Gelbvieh and Balancer shows will be held on Jan. 11-13, with the sale on Jan 12.

Then the Red Angus show starts on the 12th, and runs through the 13th, with the sale held at 4 p.m. on the 12th.

The Limousin and LimFlex shows will be held on Jan. 14-16, with the sale on the 14th.

The Black Angus shows will start on Jan. 15, and run through Jan. 18. Several Angus sales will be held during this time.

The Hereford shows will be held starting Jan. 16, and will conclude on Jan. 18.

The Charolais and Shorthorn shows will be held from Jan. 18-20.

The Simmental shows will be held from Jan. 19 to 22.

The National Western Commercial Heifer Show will be held on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m, and the National Western Commercial Heifer Sale will take place on the same day at 2:30 p.m.

The junior market shows will be held throughout the Stock Show as well. The first market show will be the goats, with showmanship on Jan. 14 and the market show on Jan. 15. Then the lamb show will take place on Jan. 18 with showmanship, and the market show will be held on Jan. 19.

Next, juniors will compete in the junior market hog show, which will take place on Jan. 22. Showmanship will be held the day before on Jan. 21. The final large market livestock show will be the beef show. Showmanship will take place on Jan. 22, and the market show will happen on Jan. 23.

Top placing individuals will earn their way into the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions, which will be held on Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

The junior market poultry show will be held on Jan. 20, and showmanship will be held the previous day on Jan. 19.

Other livestock shows include the llama and alpaca show, which will be held on Jan. 12.

Over the course of the Stock Show, a variety of rodeos will also be held. The CenturyLink’s Team Colorado Rodeo Colorado vs. Cinch’s World Team Rodeo will take place three times on Jan. 11, with the finals being held at 8 p.m. in the Denver Coliseum.

The Mexican Rodeo will host two performances on Jan. 12, and on Jan. 13-15, the PBR will come to town for the Denver Chute-Out PBR Touring Pro Finale.

On Jan. 20, the Martin Luther King Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions will take place at 6 p.m.

From Jan. 16-26, 19 PRCA rodeos will be held, with the finals taking place on Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Denver Coliseum. All of the rodeos have an addition feature, such as the Miss Rodeo Colorado coronation on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

Other entertainment events will also be held throughout the show. On Jan. 12, the RAM Freestyle Reining will take place in the events center at 4 p.m. On Jan. 18 and 19, the NWSS Wild West Show will take place, on Jan. 20 the Grand Prix will be held and on Jan. 20 and 21, 9 News Super Dogs will take the stage. On Jan. 22 and 23, an Evening with Dancing Horses will be held in the events center. The draft horse show will be held on Jan. 24.

This year, the NWSS will be honoring Claire Davis by naming a horse show in her honor. The popular Hunter and Jumper event known as the Gambler’s Choice will be named the Claire Davis Memorial Gambler’s Choice Horse Show for the 2014 National Western.

A moment of silence will be observed for Claire prior to all ticketed horse show events in the Events Center at this year’s Stock Show.

In addition, the Events Center will don a large yellow ribbon in memory of Claire Davis throughout the Stock Show.

Paul Andrews, president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show and Complex stated, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis family at this difficult time. Claire’s passion and love of horses and competition embodied what we deeply value at the National Western Stock Show. She was an excellent equestrian and a great example for all youth in the world with her positive attitude and leadership. We are honored to help celebrate her life through the numerous horse show events during our 2014 Show.”

The Claire Davis Memorial Gamblers Choice Horse Show will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17.

“The National Western does a wonderful job of supporting young equestrians, like Claire. We’re so appreciative that they’ve agreed to host this special celebration of Claire’s life and for everything they’re doing to honor Claire’s memory,” said Desiree Davis.

Throughout the entire Stock Show, vendors will be available for attendees to visit and purchase from. School tours will also be taking place during the show, where schoolchildren can learn about agriculture.

“More than 350 vendors fill the nearly 100-acre show grounds with a variety of food and shopping opportunities. The National Western Trade Show offer a variety of products including fine art and jewelry, clothing, household items and agricultural products and equipment,” according to NWSS officials.

This year marks the 108th year of the NWSS. According to NWSS officials, “National Western Stock Show is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and medicine for practice in rural areas. It is also our mission to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier Stock Show, Rodeo, Horse Show and center for year-round events. The 16-day show also serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, largest horse show and Colorado’s largest tradeshow.” ❖

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