Westernaires have become synonymous with the National Western since their first rodeo appearance in 1954.
Included in most ProRodeo performances, the Westernaires colorful and
skillful equestrian acts include the precision-mounted drill of the world-famous
Varsity Big Red team or the Precisionettes, a thrilling reenactment of
a frontier-era Cavalry-lndian battle, liberty riding, dressage exhibition
or the horseback acrobatics of the Riders of the Steppes.
This troupe of entertainers is part of a nonprofit youth organization
from Jefferson County, Colo., originally formed more than 50 years ago.
Staffed entirely by more than 350 adult volunteers, the organization boasts
more than 1,000 young riders ranging in age from 9 to 19 and in ability
from beginner to the accomplished performers, who grace the National Western
Many of the Westernaires do not even own their own horse, using instead
a horse from the livery string maintained by the Westernaires and largely
made up of animals donated to the organization. During the summer months,
rodeos and community fairs throughout the western United States and Canada
host teams of these riders for anything from a feature act to an hour-and-a-half