NWSS closes with total attendance of 640,022
The 108th National Western Stock Show (NWSS) wrapped up the annual Colorado tradition with a grand total attendance of 640,022. That is an increase of 11,656 guests over last year for the 16-day event. “We saw record numbers this weekend and are thrilled with the great turnout of Stock Show fans these last few weeks,” said Paul Andrews, President & CEO of the National Western. “We celebrated another successful year with great weather, exciting pro rodeos, horse shows and record number Junior Livestock Auction sales,” said Andrews.
The final day’s boost may very well be credited to the $10 cover, almost half the regular price, and the lack of a Denver Bronco football game. Plus, throw in the first year of free parking, and NWSS was a big hit this year.
The attendance record was set during the Stock Show’s 100th anniversary in 2006 at 726,972.
The National Western Scholarship Trust is funded by three primary sources and each source had a tremendous year. The Junior Livestock Auction had a record year raising $714,900 with a percentage of the total going to fund the trust. The Citizen of the West dinner honoring Fredrick Hamilton sold out the Events Center arena floor. The Coors Western Art exhibit had a great year and a portion of the proceeds fund the Scholarship Trust. All three of these events will produce enough revenue to fund a projected 74 scholarships throughout Colorado and Wyoming for students studying in the fields of agriculture and rural medicine.
“The success of our show is because of the dedication and hard work of the National Western volunteers, the support of the city of Denver, our sponsor partners, the livestock and rodeo industry, and the amazing rodeo and stock show fans that come out every year to celebrate the western traditions the National Western Stock Show represents,” states Paul Andrews.
More than 15,000 head of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, alpacas, bison, yak, poultry and rabbits passed through NWSS in 2014, along with more than 350 vendors on the nearly 100-acre show grounds. The show is noted for hosting the world’s only carload and pen cattle show, held in the historic Denver Union Stockyards.
The Commercial Heifer Show had 17 pens, with 12 pens of open heifers and five pens of bred heifers. “I thought the quality of the cattle was really good all the way through,” said producer Glen Benjamin. The open heifers averaged $1,504 during the sale, and the bred heifers $2,610.
Sunday, Jan. 26, the final rodeo ended with Cort Scheer from Elsmere, NE, as the high money winner with $12,111 in saddle bronc riding. Scheer won the first round, placed in round two, tied for first in the U.S. Bank Pro Rodeo Finals and earned the title with 254 points on three rides.
The three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier tied in the final round with a teenager whose name is already familiar on the circuit.
Scheer and Rusty Wright, from Milford, UT, the current National High School Rodeo Association saddle bronc champion, each had 86-point efforts and won $1,450.
Both of them got on horses from the Calgary Stampede bucking string. While the 86 earned Scheer the title, it moved Wright from 10th to 6th where he earned an additional $1,006.
The new team roping duo of Trevor Brazile, from Decatur, TX, and Travis Graves, from Jay, OK, had the fastest time on three runs to win their first major title together. They each earned $7,558 for their total time of 16.3 seconds. Brazile is in the record books for having the most world titles, and from the looks of things, he has no intention of slowing down.
Mary Walker of Ennis, TX, and her great horse Latte wowed the crowds on three separate occasions. The 2012 world champion earned the women’s barrel race with a total time of 46.34 seconds on three runs.
In the steer wrestling, it was Dean Gorsuch of Gering, NE, the 2006 and 2012 world champion who rose to the top. His time of 12.9 seconds on three runs netted him $11,958. Cody Ohl of Hico, TX, who has five tie-down roping titles to his credit, as well as one allaround, earned $9,249 in tiedown roping. He roped and tied three calves in 25.7 seconds for the win.
Attendance for the final rodeo performance was a near capacity 8,279. Throughout the 19 performances in the Denver Coliseum, there were 136,850 fans in attendance. — Traci Eatherton, WLJ Editor