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Rodeo All Star Weekend

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The 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 Rodeo.

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 arena spectacular.