Saddle Up for the Annual Stock Show and Rodeo

A look into the National Western Stock Show as its 113th year passes

Holly Rivera, Editorials Editor

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The time has come again for rodeo competitors and livestock owners to compete to become this year’s National Western Stock Show champions. This event is held every January in Denver and is one of the first events of the year for these athletes and competitors on the road to become this year’s Denver Stock Show champion.

This 16-day event allows livestock owners the opportunity to show off their valuable animals and for riders to have that ‘perfect ride.’ While the stock show and rodeo is the competitors’ livelihood, it has become a huge entertainment outlet for people living in Colorado and neighboring states for 113 years now.

The Stock Show and Rodeo are now averaging around three-quarter of a million visitors with continuous economic growth each year.

Adrian D. Garcia explains, “The show and its hundreds of thousands of attendees create a more than $100 million economic impact on Denver.”

This event has become a fantastic platform for these talented athletes and owners to educate others about the hard work that goes into being a competitor in a career that comes from hard work and pure luck.

For example, a bull rider’s score is determined based partially on ride time and bull performance. A rider may have stayed on the beast for their minimum of eight seconds but, if it didn’t show enough movement they may have a lower score than expected.

Although there is a lot going into this high-risk career, the pay-off, in the end, makes it all worth it.

“In 2018, the top steer sold for $140,000, roughly $104 per pound,” according to Joe Rubino.

Nevertheless, money isn’t the only reward many ranchers and young people learn from being involved with livestock.

Cheyenne Miller states, “You learn a lot of responsibility and patience. You’re responsible for them every day. And you learn something new every steer you have.”

All in all, these competitors work extremely hard and embrace such a high-risk career. It is astonishing to see that fans, year in and out, have the honor to watch their livelihood transform into a popular entertainment around Denver, Colorado.