The National Western Stock Show is known for its high-caliber livestock and western heritage. As you walk through the yards during the last few days of the of the stock show, you’ll notice the abandoned stalls where the cattle once were, until you arrive at alley 1400.
Here you will find the beasts who once roamed the plains, and their owners who are proud to continue the tradition of raising bison. The National Bison Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary of exhibiting stock at the NWSS in the stockyards, however, this is the 40th year for the NBA Gold Trophy Sale.
Communications director for the NBA, Karen Conley, has been involved with the bison industry for more than 25 years.
“The Gold Trophy is the pinnacle of what a bison producer wants to be,” Conley said. “The more bison you bring, the better your chances will be.”
Conley is not the only individual who fell in love with the industry.
The Thieman family has raised three generations of bison fanatics who have brought bison to NWSS for several years. Colorado natives Roy and Deb Thieman, owners of Prayridge Buffalo Ranch, have raised their family in the industry for more than 20 years. Their daughter, Carrie Bennett, has continued the tradition with her two sons.
“I feel sure one of my sons will come back to the ranch to continue the tradition,” Bennett said.
The hidden gem of the NWSS Stockyards in alley 1400 holds a place in several family’s hearts. The NBA members feel honored to continue the western heritage of raising and showing bison.
For more information about the association, visit www.bisoncentral.com.