Welcome to the NW Livestock Shows
The National Western Stock Show is considered the Super Bowl of Livestock Shows
as one of the World’s Largest Cattle Shows!
The National Western Stock Show hosts nearly 20 breeds of cattle during its 16-day run.
Visitors are able to view traditional competition among exhibitors of breeding animals ultimately used for seedstock in agricultural production (beef cattle, sheep and goats). National Western also offers competition among exhibitors of animals used primarily for recreation or companionship (llamas, alpacas, poultry and dogs). Viewing these events is all part of the Stock Show experience and can be done with a grounds admission ticket.
Youth involvement is one of the highlights of the livestock shows. Young exhibitors from across the nation participate in our competitive arenas for prize monies, national recognition for their achievements and a chance at college scholarships.
What is their reward? National Western junior livestock exhibitors have the opportunity to win prize money, trailers, scholarships and awards. Additionally, 90 of the best animals qualify for the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions, where a winning animal could sell for more than $100,000.
The National Western hosts junior market livestock competitions for steers, lambs, swine and goats in the market-ready classifications. There are also competitions for breeding heifers and ewe lambs, as well.
Additional special youth programs include the 4-H Catch-A-Calf, FFA Heifer Wrangle, Premier Exhibitor and Carcass competitions. The llama show, alpacas show, sheep lead competition and wool show also include youth divisions.
The youth programs at the National Western Stock Show not only are a vital part of our success, but also are a large part of the mission put forth in the National Western Charter.
Livestock exhibited at the National Western include more than 20 breeds of beef cattle along with bison, yaks and longhorns, sheep, hogs, goats, poultry, llamas and alpacas. Stock dog herding competitions are also held. Along with the many events in the main Hall and Stadium Arena, known as the “Hill”, the historic Denver Stock Yards is home to multiple cattle shows that include pens and carloads of cattle in competition.
The “Yards” is the only event of its kind in North America and is a Mecca of activity for the livestock industry. Held in the brisk open air of Denver in January the “Yards” is also home to many cattle sales where the best are auctioned off to the highest bidders. Producers display their livestock in the pens just as they have for decades at the National Western Stock Show.
BISON – The 2017 Gold Trophy Bison Show and Sale (judging on January 20, 2017 and sale on January 21, 2017) is sanctioned by the National Bison Association and is the only bison show of this type in the world.
Although commonly called buffalo, the American Bison is not a true buffalo. Its closest relatives are the European Bison (Wisent) and the Canadian Woods Bison, not the buffalo of Asia or Africa, such as the Cape Buffalo or Water Buffalo.
Bison were the center of life for the Plains Indians, providing them with food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual aspirations.
GOAT – The Boer goat was developed in South Africa as a breed meant for meat production. The term “Boer” refers to the descendants of the Dutch immigrants, most of them farmers, who settled the country; thus, Boer goat simply means “farmers’ goat.” Because of the intense selective breeding over the past 50 years or more by South African goat breeders, the Boer goat is considered far superior to any other goat for meat production. It is known for rapid weight gain, heavy muscling and high fertility.
Because the Boer was selectively improved for its meat production ability and its ability to pass on that trait to its offspring, along with other traits including pasture hardiness, the addition of a Boer buck to a commercial meat goat herd can improve the meat characteristics of the offspring without making them too soft to be pasture grazed. The National Western’s Boer Goat Show is January 11, 2017 at 2 p.m. on the lower level of the Stadium Hall.
A junior meat goat show is January 11, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the lower Stadium Hall.
LLAMAS – along with alpacas, guanacos and vicunas, are members of the camel family and originated on the central plains of North America about 10 million years ago. They were domesticated in the Andean highlands of Peru more than 5,000 years ago.
Contemporary North American llamas are bred and raised for packing, wool production, cart pulling, animal-facilitated therapy, companion animals, exhibitions, guardians of other livestock, such as sheep and, increasingly, as FFA and 4-H projects.
Grease-free and lightweight, llama wool is warm and luxurious. A valuable commodity sought by fiber artists, such as weavers and spinners, the wool is a marketable product for llama owners.
The llama show at the National Western is one of the oldest and largest in North America. Be sure to attend An Afternoon with Llama and Alpaca on January 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. where you can interact face-to-face with the llamas, alpacas and exhibitors. The llama show is on January 7, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. and on January 8, 2016 at 2 p.m. in the Stadium Arena.
ALPACAS – are America’s newest entry into the livestock industry. The initial animals were imported from 1984 until 1997 when the government closed the quarantine facility in Key West, FL. Since that time the industry has flourished and now approximates 160,000 in the US.
There are two alpaca breed types: the suri and the huacaya. The main difference between the two is their fleece production. The huacaya fleece has waviness or “crimp,” which gives huacayas their fluffy, teddy-bear like appearance. Suri fleece has little or no crimp, so the individual fiber strands cling to themselves and hang down from the body in beautiful pencil locks.
Alpaca breeders come from many walks of life. Increasingly, alpacas are becoming an important source of income for many people. Entire families are often full time breeders.
Virtually every alpaca is registered through DNA blood tests providing the lineage and their country of origin. Alpacas offer an outstanding choice for livestock ownership. They have long been known as the aristocrat of all ranch animals. Most of all, alpacas have a charismatic manner, they do very well on small acreage, and they produce a luxury product which is in high demand.
Shouldn’t you consider alpacas as part of your livestock future?
Be sure to attend An Afternoon with Llama and Alpaca on January 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. where you can interact face-to-face with the llamas, alpacas and exhibitors. The Alpaca show starts Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. and will resume Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 2:00pm in the historical Stadium Arena.
POULTRY – A popular National Western exhibit for visitors of all ages, poultry and rabbit display is located on the third floor of the Expo Hall. More than 50 cages of each species of these small farm animals are on exhibit for the duration of the show.
Poultry is a major food product worldwide. The fowl display includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and other feathered animals such as pheasants, quail and guineas. The show takes place January 21, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Stadium Hall.
SHEEP – From wool shows and sheep lead contests to breeding sheep exhibitions, the National Western Stock Show offers a variety of events to showcase one of the largest segments of the western livestock industry.
Known for their ability to graze in poor conditions, sheep are popular with farmers in the arid, almost desert-like, climates of the western United States. In addition to producing two marketable products, meat and wool, they also are raised with a lower overhead budget than most cattle.
A standard at the National Western Stock Show since it first years, sheep and wool events continue to make up a major segment of the West’s premier livestock exhibition.
The 2017 National Western breeding sheep show features nine popular wool and meat breeds exhibiting their best quality stock of rams, ewes and lambs.
Columbia, Corriedale and Rambouillet breeds show January 21, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. while Southdown, Dorset, Hampshire and Suffolk breeds exhibit January 22, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. Also included in the sheep competition are Natural Colored Sheep and White Hand-Spinning Sheep, which are judged both on conformation and wool January 22, 2017.
The sheep lead contest, where a sheep and its exhibitor are judged on appearance, is January 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
There will be a daily sheep shearing demo on the lower level of the Stadium Hall.
DOG – From backyard pets to a cowman’s top assistant, dogs are man’s best friend. And, the National Western Stock Show takes pride in highlighting the relationship between these amazing animals and their human counterparts.
National Western’s dog pulls, agility games and stock dog trials are continually some of the show’s most popular events.
In 2017, we will be offering our 9th Annual Stock Dog Sale. Preview of the Stock Dogs will be available in the Stockyards on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. The Sale will be Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the Stockyards.
The Dog Pull is held January 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Stadium Arena. A dog weight pull is a sporting event that consists of dogs pulling a cart on wheels a distance of 16 feet within one minute. Dogs are hooked up in a specially designed harness, which disperses the weight evenly.
Dog Fly Ball Games are scheduled for January 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Stock dog cattle and sheep competitions begin January 20, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. Finals in the cattle competition will be held January 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. All cattle competitions are held in the Stockyards.
The Open Sheep competition for stock dogs begins January 21, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in Stadium Arena. The Intermediate Sheep stock dog competition is January 22, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Stadium Arena.
SWINE – As part of the National Western junior livestock competition, more than 500 market hogs from across the nation come to Denver to be shown by youth aged 9 to 18. The swine are judged on conformation, correctness of form and muscling.
The junior market swine show is one of the highlights of the National Western Stock Show. Young exhibitors from around the U.S. participate in our competitive arenas for prize money, national recognition for their achievement and a chance at college scholarships.
The 2017 Junior Market Swine show begins with the showmanship competition on Tuesday, January 17 at 4:00 p.m. followed by the market show the following day on Wednesday, January 18 at 9:00 a.m. in the lower level of the Stadium Hall.
For junior swine updates, visit the junior livestock updates section.
YAK – Originally from the Himalayan Mountains, and a center point of the Tibetan culture, yaks were first introduced to North America in the early 1900s. Both a beast of burden and spiritual focus in their native land, yaks have been raised here for their beauty and intelligence, and as a source of fine fiber and lean meat..
For more information on yaks, visit the International Yak Association’s Web site at www.iyak.org.
Yak activities at the National Western in the stockyards (Yards) and the Stockyards Arena include:
Yak Pen Show – January 19, 2017 – 2 p.m. in the Stockyards Arena.
Yak Halter Show – January 21, 2017 – 12 p.m. in the Stockyards Arena.
Given that the Herd Sire Display area pens are consistently sold-out, there is a plethora of positive feedback every year. Most all bull owners and company managers who have displays appreciate the fact that it attracts large numbers of the people within the niche market they do business in. Not only does it provide a great environment of networking between companies and exhibitors, it’s also an opportunity for the bull owners to make a debut of the up and coming and proven herd sires they’re trying to sell semen on.
The Herd Sire Display Area is a valuable and unique piece to the National Western Stock Show. With the expansion of the National Western soon to come, we hope to see this area expand to over 300 pens. Considering the caliber this event is at today, the National Western hopes to see the amount of networking, promotion and growth within the bull industry grow to something that’s never been seen before.
A display area at this caliber can’t be found at any other show in the world. This are is open from January 12-15, 2017. There is usually a waiting list for this outstanding marketing event. To get on the list, contact the Livestock Office at 303.299.5559.
The Heifer Mart is an exciting marketing opportunity for cattle producers to take advantage of at the National Western Stock Show. Cattlemen can enter groups of 3 to 10 head of either heifer calves or bred yearlings. There is a designated area in the Yards just south of the Stock yard Arena set up for the Heifer Mart where these cattle are displayed on tie rails. Night tie outs are also be provided. There is no show associated with these cattle. These females are on display with the intention of selling them by private treaty or for breeders to have an opportunity to display their breeding program as a part of their overall marketing program.
The National Western believes that there are many breeders of quality pure bred and cross cattle that wish to exhibit and sell females in Denver without the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the show ring. Additionally there are many livestock enthusiasts that attend NWSS each year that want to buy females either in groups or individuals. The Heifer Mart provides the Forum for displaying a breeders program as well as the opportunity for buyers to view groups of cattle from breeders they may not have had the chance to personally visit in the past.
Similar to the NWSS Herd Sire displays, reservations for a spot in the Heifer Mart will be on a first come first serve basis made by contacting the NWSS Livestock Office. The Heifer Mart will accommodate cattle by breed during the same time periods that each respective breed arrives and is released from the Yards. If the breed you have interest in does not have a pen show we will use the arrival/release dates for the time that particular breed is on the Hill. These schedules can either be found in the Premium Book or online at www.nationalwestern.com in the Livestock section of the webpage.
Entry fees will be $100 per head payable at time of entry. Pedigree, breeding and other pertinent information will be due at time of entry. Exhibitors will be responsible for their own bedding to be purchased through the NWSS Feed and Bedding Supply office in the Yards. For more information please contact the NWSS Livestock office at 303.299.5559.
National Western Stock Show has taken a proactive approach to public safety, implementing a comprehensive public safety action plan, created with input from state and local health departments.
The NWSS partners with our patrons to maintain a sanitary, healthy environment, and we strongly encourage our guests to read and follow our educational materials, safety tips and follow posted signs. Please keep in mind that the safety of all patrons, particularly children, is a shared responsibility.
Your health and safety is important to us. Thank you for supporting the National Western Stock Show.
National Western Stock Show, Rodeo & Horse Show — Animal Care and Use Policy:
The National Western Stock Show has established the “Animal Care and Use Committee” whose mission is to address issues of animal care including the overseeing of an animal activity survey and to address all expressions of concern for animal care from the public, exhibitors and the National Western staff.
The committee members include:
Chairman, Dr. Keith Rohr – State Veterinarian
Dr. G. Marvin Beeman
Dr. Wes Metzler
Dr. Bernie Rollin
Dr Gary Carpenter
Dr. Mike Scott
The National Western supports animal welfare principles which seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals. Supporting animal welfare means believing humans have the right to use animals. Along with that right comes the responsibility to provide proper and humane care and treatment. Every animal participating in the activities of the National Western Stock Show, Rodeo, and Horse Show shall at all times be provided proper care and management. The care custody and control of the animals brought to the National Western Stock Show is the responsibility of the exhibitor. To ensure this policy, the Animal Care and Use Committee by way of the Volunteer Survey Group shall monitor and document any animal Health and Welfare issues of concern on the grounds of the National Western Stock Show during the show, with emphases on proper care and treatment.
In the event there is an animal welfare issue, the witness should immediately contact a National Western Stock Show representative, who will followed a prescribed course of action.
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LIVESTOCK COMMITTEE & CONTEST CHAIRMEN
JUSTIN CUMMING, Executive Livestock
CORINNE HUMMEL, Junior Show
BEN ROGERS, Yards
MARSHALL ERNST, Specialty Show
DR. KEITH ROEHR, Animal Care & Use
BEN DUKE III, Catch-A-Calf
MARK ANDERSON, Judges
Special Livestock Committees
Justin Cumming, Chairman
Thomas H. Bradbury
Donald K. Norgren
Mark Anderson, Chairman
David R. Ames
Thomas H. Bradbury
Corinne Hummel, Chairman
Thomas H. Bradbury
Ben Duke, III
Donald K. Norgren
Kenton Ochsner, State FFA
Dr. Lori Scott
Dr. Mike Scott
Ben Duke, III, Chairman
Donald K. Norgren
Marshall Ernst, Chairman
Ben Rogers, Chairman
Thomas H. Bradbury
Dr. Keith Roehr, Chairman
Dr. G. Marvin Beeman
Dr. Gary Carpenter
Dr. Bernie Rollin
Dr. Mike Scott