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NILE celebrates 46 years during 2013 event

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Billings, Mont. – This year, the 46th Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) Stock Show and Rodeo continues its tradition as the region’s largest livestock event, showcasing multiple breeds of cattle shows and sales, horse sales and futurities and rodeo.

The event will be held from Oct. 15-19 at MetraPark in Billings, Mont. and offers many of the same events that have been celebrated through the years.

“It going to be a great show,” says Justin Mills, NILE General Manager.  “We expect around 35,000 visitors to attend the NILE over the four days. Some of the things we’ve added will really create an event that has something for people of all ages.”

This year, the NILE will continue its traditional stock show, hosting over 20 livestock sales and shows in a five-day window. 

“We added a day to this year’s show due to the increase in entries from last year,” says Mills.

The schedule includes Shorthorn, Hereford, Red Angus, Galloway, Angus, Texas Longhorn, Gelbvieh, Balancer, Miniature Hereford, Dexter and an All Other Breeds show.

A Junior Fed Show, held on Oct. 16, will include swine, steer and lamb shows, and the Merit Heifer Show on Oct. 18 will likely draw the largest crowds, says NILE.

Additionally, a jackpot show, showmanship contest, Club Calf Show and Sale and the Supreme Row Show will be held during the week.

The traditional NILE Gold Buckle Horse Sales and Futurities will be held beginning on Oct. 18.

“We work hard to make sure our sales offer quality consignments,” says Ward Fenton, NILE Horse Sale Chairman.  “Our process is not perfect, but we take it very serious.  In the horse business, reputation does more than anything else.”

Another highlight of the NILE is the long list of rodeo events. 

Beginning in 1975, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) has sponsored the NILE ProRodeo event. 

Three nights of professional rodeos will support Montana colleges, breast cancer awareness and veterans.

In addition to the PRCA rodeo, the addition of the NILE Ranch Rodeo Finals in 2007 has been a popular event. 

The Ranch Rodeo Finals is scheduled for Oct. 16 and will feature 12 teams from across the region who have qualified. Included in those teams is the top team from the Wyoming State Finals Ranch Rodeo.

The winner of the ranch rodeo will be allowed to compete at the Working Ranch Cowboy’s Association World Finals in Amarillo, Texas.

During the course of the weeklong event, a wide array of events will be held to accommodate a wide array of interests. 

As an important component of featuring agriculture education, the NILE will also host nearly 2,000 area fourth graders to learn about the industry and how it affects their lives. 

A trade show will also be held during the entirety of the event.

For more information on the events occurring during the NILE or to participate in any event, visit or call the NILE office at 406-265-2495.

Early start

When the Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) Stock Show and Rodeo started in the fall of 1968, it was an event that had been pulled together in only a few months.

The concept of a regional livestock show emerged when a committee of leading agriculture businessmen and area ranchers began the discussion over a year earlier.

“Now, in 2013, the NILE will celebrate 45 years of upholding the mission of what the original founders believed was important to promote our region’s livestock industry,” says NILE.

To celebrate that history, the roots of the livestock industry are embodied in the Oct. 19 cattle drive and parade.

“This year’s grand marshal will be radio legend Lonnie Bell,” says NILE General Manager Justin Mills. 

The Cattle Drive will contain 75 head of steers with a Trail Boss Turk Stovall, outriders, a chuck wagon and a bunk wagon.


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