Baby Health Contest
By Dick Perue
A couple of weeks ago, we posted a lengthy article concerning the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) being cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. This week, we follow up on the event with information from the internet.
The National Western Stock Show was first organized in January 1906 by a number of Denver agriculturalists with the aim to provide a space where breeding and feeding innovations could be demonstrated to local and national stockmen and as a friendly competitive environment to display particularly fine stock.
Although it only ran for six days, more than 15,000 people attended the event, coming all the way from Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Kan., Chicago and cities of the East Coast. Admission was free at first, though a 25-cent charge was added in 1909.
Before long, thousands of animals would arrive via the nearby railroad station – including, but not limited to, many different breeds of cattle, hogs, sheep, mules and horses – and in 1908, NWSS had become so popular, stockmen from around the world were traveling to Denver with their animals and innovations.
Human attendees arrived by streetcars, which left from Union Station. In 1908, a horse show was added to the program, and beginning in 1931, rodeos were held each year.
Other regular events included the Collegiate Wool Judging Contest, the Best 10 Head Shorthorn Competition, the Catch-A-Calf Contest, the Working Stock Dog Competition and innumerable sales and auctions. There was even a baby competition held in 1914 for three-year-olds.
The NWSS has taken place every year since it began, with the exception of 1915 when it was cancelled due to a breakout of foot-and-mouth disease in states around the country. Over the years, ranchers and farmers from around the country and the world, including many from throughout Wyoming, came together each January to display their stock and to learn about the latest livestock management technologies and techniques.