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National (Wild West)ern Stock Show

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.

With the “wild” of the once famous Wild West fading away in our 21st century, the 105-year-old National Western Stock Show (NWSS) aimed to bring it back on a permanent basis. For the first time, the NWSS took the reins and produced its own Wild West Show in a move designed to transport visitors back to the tradition and showmanship of Buffalo Bill Cody.

“We wanted to see how Buffalo Bill had done this show over 100 years ago, so we went out there and spent a half a day at Lookout Mountain at the museum,” described NWSS V.P. of Operations Marvin Witt of the process that went into self-producing the Wild West Show. “You know, there’s a bunch of old footage out there. So we watched the old footage, we saw what he had in his show and what we liked … and then we took that and went back to the drawing board and put the show together.”

Part of what they liked were the competitions in Buffalo Bill’s shows, so the National Western crew incorporated those elements in successful fashion. From Pony Express riders to chuckwagons to gunslingers on horseback, spectators cheered themselves hoarse when the races were afoot.

The participants liked it, as well.

“We’re going to do a race between me and my dad,” said 23-year-old cowboy mounted shooter Crystal Carlson of Wellington, Colo., while she warmed up her horse “Shooter” before Saturday’s show. Carlson won her cowboy mounted shooting class – a contest of hitting balloon targets from horseback using single-action .45 revolvers that fire blanks – at the national western the previous Sunday and was looking forward to racing in front of the sold-out crowd. “I think it’s great (and) I think it’s a blast,” she added with a grin.

Another participant having a blast during the Wild West Show was Max Reynolds, a skilled western entertainer, trick roper, trick rider and sometime Buffalo Bill impersonator. Reynolds was raised in the small Colorado town of Arapahoe and has performed worldwide for over 40 years.

Despite all the experience in his back pocket, his first time performing before a NWSS rodeo crowd was unforgettable.

“It was something,” described Reynolds with a big smile about finally fulfilling a goal of entertaining a stock show rodeo crowd in the old Coliseum. “You know how it is, when you have those kind of dreams and have it come true, it’s unbelievable.”

Asked about the crowds that come out to see the Wild West shows every January during the NWSS, Reynolds was happy to respond.

“They are always great,” he started with enthusiasm. “They really enjoy it (and) it’s something they don’t see anymore. A long time ago, a lot of this stuff we do (in our show) used to be a competition. Then after competition they threw it right in for entertainment for rodeos and everything. And then of course Buffalo Bill, he kind of started all that stuff using it as entertainment in his shows, bringing the wild west to people back east and then (going) to Europe and all that. People nowadays, this is something maybe they’ve seen in a movie (or) they’ll maybe see it in history books and things like that. To see an actual live person out here, it’s just something most people don’t see. I’m very proud of that,” he continued about his role in reviving old west traditions. “It’s been my life, performing with these horses and doing the trick roping, trick riding and the fancy gun handling, shooting and all that stuff. So to be able to be part of this here in Denver, yeah, that’s pretty special.”

Another special aspect introduced into this year’s Wild West Show was the music. Veteran cowboy singer Ron Ball of Estes Park, Colo., along with his smooth guitar and mellow voice, entertained the crowd with classic favorites like “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Strawberry Roan,” “The Cowboy in a Continental Suit,” and “Happy Trails.” Replete with vintage accessories including a buffalo hide vest, leather batwing chaps, “gal leg” spurs and a pearl handled revolver, the elder cowboy gave the audience an authentic flavor of the west just perfect for the occasion.

“I love it. It’s great,” said the amiable singer when asked about his first time performing at the Stock Show’s Wild West event. “I’ve been a cowboy all my life. I took time out to be a marine for four years and an L.A. cop for 20 years, but I never quit being a cowboy. Anything cowboy is all right with me.”

Included in all the cowboy fare was a healthy dose of local Westernaire talent. Handling races, trick rider duties and a historical re-enactment of Custer’s defeat (among other things), the Colorado riding troupe brought thrills and plenty of entertainment bang for the buck, much to the delight of NWSS officials.

“I was sitting there watching last year’s show and that was one of the things that really made me look at the change (to producing our own show),” Witt said about involving the Westernaires. “I looked at the entertainers we were bringing in from outside the state of Colorado and (thought), why would we do this when we have that kind of talent here in our backyard? We never had used the Westernaires trick riders before; we had never used the Pony Express (race). Those horses (and) those kids were up for this,” Witt added. “They were psyched. It was probably the best show I’ve seen.”

With both shows selling out in 2011 and affirming the move to bring the production in house, NWSS personnel are already planning for the future.

“We are already planning, already identifying new people to bring in (and) new twists,” offered Witt regarding the show’s prospects. “It will have a different twist every year. I think the races and the interaction, getting the crowd going, was very, very good. In order to be a good show, the crowd has to be interacting with it. It was a lot of fun producing it.”

Judging by the excitement generated by a pair of sell-out crowds, it appeared to be a lot of fun to attend, as well.


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