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Come See the Stock Show

Photo Credit: Ben Vanourek

The National Western Stock Show & Rodeo took place at the National Western Complex in downtown Denver from January 7th - 22nd. I attended the first rodeo show, and there were many different parts to the show. The main show included bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, and bull riding - an great variety of events. My favorite event was the bull riding because it was fun to watch the bulls get angry and the rodeo clown get charged at by the bulls.

They also had an appearance from the Westernaires, mutton busting, mini bareback riding (by young kids), stagecoach demonstrations, and more in between the competitions. Outside of the show there are lots things to do in and around the complex, from shopping to visiting animals and, of course, eating festival foods!

During certain events such as the bull riding, there were competitions with grand prizes and the occasional fail. When I visited, nobody got hurt and I am glad because there were some close calls. One guy’s horse flipped over just missing crushing him!!! He was fine though. Another time during the bull riding a cowboy fell of his bull and almost got a hoof to the face. The rodeo clown saved him and had a barrel full of laughs.

When walking about the complex, there are many types of booths to visit, from ice cream to fur traders. They have everything. They even have a stock show in the lower level of the second building where you could see the participants showing and selling their animals.

I met an alpaca farmer named Jason Cody, and he works for Chimera Ranch in Bennett, Colorado. Chimera Ranch is a company that also was at the Christkindl market downtown over the holidays. They sure do get around. For adults they sell hats, scarves, and slippers. For big pets they sell dog beds and for small pets they sell little woven baskets. For kids they sell wool stuffed animals. All of these products are hand crafted with alpaca wool. When asked what his favorite product is, Jason responded “My favorite product is our wool hats because the hats are warm, soft, and unique.” This is true because I have collected six alpaca stuffies over the years, and they are all soft and fluffy..

Parking was pretty close to the buildings. The place was really packed with people, and buildings are quite loud. As you would expect, there was some smell from the animals but it wasn’t terrible or anything like that. You do walk around a lot, but you don’t really notice it or get tired because there is so much to see. The next time that I go, I will visit the dog agility show as I think that will also be interesting.  

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