Westernaires tapped for 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award | TheFencePost.com

Westernaires tapped for 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award

Gayle Smith
Potter, Neb.

Dianna Underwood and Kristen Fast Roman Riding.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

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The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.

One of the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Cowboy Keeper Award is a horse-mounted precision drill youth organization based in Jefferson County, Colo.

The Westernaires were presented the award by the board of directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization. The group was selected to receive the honor based on the level and significance of contributions to the preservation of the pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The award was inspired by artist Joelle Smith to support the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the annual National Day of the Cowboy resolution.

The Westernaires were very honored to receive the award, according to the group’s director Glen Keller. “They present this award to all kinds of people, and many we have known. We are very proud that the Westernaires were included in this fine group of folks,” Keller said.

The Westernaires is a horsemanship group open to youth between the ages of nine and 19, who live in Jefferson County, Colo. The group was founded in 1949 by the Lakewood Youth Council, who was looking to add horsemanship activities to sporting events like softball and football that were already being offered. The group started with 26 children and 13 adult volunteers. Since then, the group has grown to over 1,000 youth and 350 adult volunteers who travel all over the United States and Canada performing precision mounted drills with speed, trick riding, roman riding, dressage, liberty riding, bull whipping and trick roping among other activities.

“We teach youth a lot of the activities in the old west,” Keller explained. “We teach them to ride, and they leave us when they graduate from high school. It is amazing, during the time they are with the group, what they can accomplish with a little training and discipline.”

When they start the group as young as nine, most of the children don’t know how to ride. “We like to start them from scratch,” Keller explained. “If they do know how to ride, we want them to unlearn what they know so we can teach them our own way. The children do not have to own their own horse to be in the group. About 250 of the kids own a horse, the rest don’t.”

The children who don’t own a horse can lease one from the Westernaires stable of horses. “We adopted 65 head of mustangs from the BLM that we have broke and trained,” Keller said. “We have also acquired Quarter Horses, some donated and some purchased, for the program. All of these horses work really well for what we do,” he continued. “They are all built about the same way with muscular hindquarters so they can easily start and stop, which we have to do in all our drill work.”

The children practice every other week when they first begin the program. As they become more skilled and higher division riders, they practice every week 12 months out of the year. “We do 56 arena hours of practice every Saturday,” Keller said. “We have seven arenas we use – some indoors and some outside. We probably run about 10 hours on Saturday.”

The group prepares for performances they make throughout the country, but the one they are most proud of is held each year at the end of October. The annual show known as Horsecapades will be held on October 29 at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m., and on October 30 at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Denver National Western Events Center at 47th and Humboldt. Tickets are $8 for the event, and are available at the door or from any Westernaires member. “It is the best $8 of entertainment you will ever spend,” Keller said.

Keller described Horsecapades: “Horsecapades is the unique presentation of the Westernaires. It combines talent with skill that is centered around the horse and Western tradition. It’s a circus-like review combining action, speed and a variety of talents set to music. It’s a professional performance put on by the largest precision drill riding group in the world.”

He continued, “The show will present 250 riders and horses in action quite unlike any other arena performance. These are the best of our young Westernaires, many of whom have been with the group for eight, nine and occasionally 10 years. These riders are not paid professionals, nor “super kids,” but children who have dedicated themselves to the development of an art form quite unusual, have given a substantial part of their young years to the perfection of a skill and craft, and to learning the difficult task of working as a team.”

“Horsecapades includes an array of acts, involving precise control and split-second timing,” Keller concluded. “Every feature is approached with careful planning as to costumes and lighting, music and timing for the utmost in audience appeal. In addition to precision team drills, trick riding and a number of other specialty acts are part of Horsecapades.”

As director of the Westernaires, Keller said his goal is to teach the children how to become productive members of their communities when they become adults. “I think the best thing I can tell you about the Westernaires is it is a youth organization that encourages responsibility, self respect and leadership through horsemanship and family participation,” he explained. “If we get kids, put them to work, and they commit themselves to our program, we raise young citizens who grow up to be leaders in their communities.”

For more information about the Westernaires, please contact Keller at (303) 279-3767. Visit their website at Westernaires.org.