Since it's start in 1906, the National Western Stock Show has come a long way. It's progressive efforts through the hardest times has proven that it's one of the most legendary livestock shows in America today.
As such, we thought it would be fun to show a few comparisons of just exactly how much things have changed over the years.
THEN: The Catch-A-Calf program began in 1935 when 10 boys caught 10 sponsored calves.
THEN: The National Western originated from the historical stockyards that flourished with thousands of head of cattle shipped in and out of Denver via the railroad. Some remember the infamous straw racks and hand painted signs. (See above photo.)
NOW: Exhibitors from across the U.S. and Canada travel thousands of miles to experience "The Yards." It's truly a one of a kind venue that no other livestock show offers.
Though there has been a lot of change throughout the last 109 years of the National Western, the memories and traditions created by the families, exhibitors and livestock will forever be remembered every January in Denver.
The 2014 National Western ran from January 11-26 in the beautiful Denver, Colorado. We had record-setting attendance numbers and livestock entries. Between the cattle, hogs, sheep and specialty show animals we had over 12,000 head of animals show on The Hill and in The Yards.
A few 2014 livestock show highlights include:
Thirty-five Catch-A-Calf participants went through an interview, showmanship and live evaluation process during the first weekend of show.
The grand and reserve grand champion CAC steers sold in the NWSS Junior Market Sale and raised a record-setting $68,000 for the Catch-A-Calf program.
Meanwhile, thirty-two new kids caught calves during the rodeo performances and will receive their steers in May for the 2015 NWSS.
LiveAuctions.tv. broadcasted over sixty shows and twenty sales this year. The National Hereford Sale grossed over $1 million dollars and was streamed live from Stadium Arena.
The Herd Sire area was a huge success with over 120 stalls filled with purebred breeders, club calf producers and other vendors. Plus, the beautiful weather lured in a large crowd to this popular event.
The Heifer Mart was a new feature to this years show. Similar to the Herd Sire area, heifers were on display for spectators and other producers. Some females were for sale while others were offering embryo packages and other breeding features. It's feature year success has given it a permanent spot at the NWSS schedule for many years to come.
The Junior Market Auction set two all-time records. The Grand Champion Steer, exhibited by Baylor Bonham of Oklahoma, sold for $132,500 and the eight champions (grand and reserve grand champion goats, lambs, hogs and steers) grossed over $300,000 collectively.
Without continued support and participation, the National Western unique traditions would fade.