A Day at the National Western Stock Show

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Susan Cheng writes, Have you ever seen cowboys try to stay on wild broncos?

Have you ever seen cowboys try to stay on wild broncos? This is but one event that was in the National Western Stock Show. On Friday, January 18, 2008 my dad and I went to the Western Stock Show. First, we went to the Denver Coliseum where we found a team from a college competing against other teams from other colleges in judging animals. I thought immediately the arena smelled like an animal. We watched for a little while and then left. There was nothing much going on in the Coliseum itself, so we went to other buildings where most activities were happening. The stock show is spread through many buildings. There were information booths everywhere, so if we get lost we can ask them. From there, we got directions on where to go to the petting farm, so we checked that out for a few seconds. We also found out that there was a horse jumping event and where to find the event. We went through a building with different animals. First, we saw the wool section. There we found the sheep’s wool being cut off. I got to touch to soft and slightly scratchy wool, which I thought was cool. Another part that I thought was awesome was that I could see the sheep with wool, and without wool. They look so different! Next, we saw cows. In my opinion, the cows smelled pretty badly, but we did get to see them get ready, which included the following: washing, trimming, and making them look nice. To wash the cows, they had to have green hoses full of water, and spray the water at the cows. The floor was really wet in the washing place. We came out the building, and it turned out that we went the wrong way! Luckily, we did find the right way and got to the horses.When we finally got to the EventCenter, where the horse activities were being held, we saw riders on horses that were jumping over hurdles and following a course. We watched this for some time. Then, we got lunch at a restaurant nearby. We watched for some more time, while eating our lunch. I noticed that some of the riders were being cut off because their horses wouldn’t jump. We got bored of this and decided to check out the Children’s Ranch section. By now we had about one hour until the main event of the day: The ProRodeo Competition.As we walked in to the Children’s ranch, we were friendly greeted by the manager of an exhibit of animal foot prints. First, I was able to stamp a foot print of raccoons, beavers, cougar (more commonly known as the mountain lion), and a coyote with information about each animal. After this, the manager of the exhibit let me spin a wheel with different foot prints. It landed on a footprint, which I identified correctly as a beaver. My dad thought it was a raccoon instead, and he was wrong! I was awarded with a pencil, ruler, and the sheets.We also saw an exhibit called Sand Art, in which you can fill various shaped bottles with sands of different colors. We purchased a plastic mini sculpture of a horse with my choice of colors of sand to go inside the mini horse. I meant to do the colors of the rainbow, red orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, but I didn’t put enough red and too much orange, so I had to make another layer of red.Finally, we went back to the Denver Coliseum for the ProRodeo. We were a few minutes early. This was my and my dad’s first rodeo experience. The show started with lots of flashing green laser beams and fireworks from the floor. I didn’t enjoy this very much. On a regular day, I probably would have loved it, but on that day I wasn’t in the mood. After what seemed like a few minutes, I was thinking, “Okay, I get the point, now would you move onto the rodeo?” And they did. First, the ProRodeo started with the Nation Anthem. Then, the rodeo started with a bunch of cowboys trying to stay on bucking, wild, and hardly controllable broncos, without a saddle. They had to stay on until the whistle in order to get points. All who signed up went, and then the cowboy with the most points wins that round. Next is the bull wrestling where a cowboy, with another person to keep the bull straight in line, rode on a trained horse and hopped off to tackle the bull. Almost always the cowboy won, but the first bull we saw tricked them by stopping, and then going. After that, the cowboys tried staying on broncos, with a saddle. Other events included the following: hog-tying calves, cowboys attempting to stay on wild bulls, roping bulls, one at the head and one at the legs, and cowgirls racing on trained horse around barrels. With cowboys trying to ride bulls, I thought that was crazy, most got thrown off, no big surprise, but a couple stayed on. I was amazed! The bulls jumped up and put their front feet on the ground, and then their back legs. To keep us entertained, they wedged shows in the middle. These included stagecoaches and, my favorite, the fantastic horse dance which the announcer was describing it as horse and rider becoming one. This comes next.In the fantastic horse dance, the lights went off, and a single spotlight revealed a woman dressed as an angel riding a white horse. I thought this looked beautiful, magical, and elegant. The horse did some dance moves, like step, step, big step, step, step, big step… The horse also did big step, big step, big step… to music. The next thing that happened was very impressive and probably took a lot of training. The horse laid on its side and let the rider stand on top of him/her. Then, he/she sat down so the rider could get on. The rider then used a pole, often used for war, as part of her dance.The rodeo ended with an event in which I just loved. A 24-year-old bucking grandmother horse had given birth to 18 children. One of her children, also a bucking horse, gave birth to more children. One of the children, also a bucking horse, became a mother, and one of her children appeared. And that’s right, you guessed it, the youngest was also a bucking horse. So, before us ran the four generations of bucking broncos. “She hopes to continue the tradition of bucking horses,” said the announcer as the youngest appeared. The rodeo did run a little late, was supposed to end at 4:00 but ended at about 4:12, but was still pretty great. I would rate this rodeo 4 out of 5 stars because it was dusty and made me start to cough.If you have considered going next year, January 2009, here are all the costs my dad and I had to take. Parking is not free, depending on where you park; you have to pay some dollars. In the place we parked, we had to pay $10. The ProRodeo show, which includes a ground pass, meaning you can look around, is $12 per person. If you follow our tracks and want to do the sand art, you can buy mini sculptures and fill it with sand, prices vary on sculptures. If you want the horse though, it is $5. If you go around lunch time, you have to pay for your meal. Prices vary depending on meal. Extra money is needed for food and souvenirs in which there are a lot of them.Overall, the Western Stock Show will be sealed in my memory for years to come. My overall impression was it was pretty great with the rodeo and everything else. I am glad we came.

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