Back in the day, the men in Denver wore cowboy boots and had beards because they were freaking cowboys, not because they're just hipsters (not like there's anything wrong with that).
The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo reflects this amazing history … and more. 9NEWS will be covering the stock show a lot in the coming weeks (for what it's worth, it runs Jan. 6 to Jan. 21), and as part of this coverage, this intrepid journalist stumbled upon the history page on the Stock Show's website.
Get ready and buckle your internet seatbelts, because things are about to get real.
Here's some of the strangest and most interesting things that have happened in the Stock Show's 112 year history.
-The Stock Show was canceled in 1915 due to a “hoof and mouth” disease. This prohibited animals from traveling across state lines.
-Back in 1972, a Grand Champion steer named “Big Mac” was ruled ineligible. Why? Well, it had been entered at the American Royal Show in Kansas City as a white steer … and dyed black in Denver.
-Attendance dipped by 12,500 people when “Broncomania” first swept through Denver in 1978. So basically, while this Broncos seasons wasn't great for fans, it means the Stock Show won't have to compete with football (in Denver, anyway)
-Attendance was so big in 1985 that it basically broke fire code, and firefighters had to close access to the grounds for almost an hour
-A dairy cow milking exhibition wasn't added until the year 2000
-“Rugged cattlemen” and livestock commission merchants tried to get stock shows going in Denver in the 1880s, but didn't really have the organizational skills. That means the stock show didn't really get off the ground until 1906, when 15,000 stockmen from as far away as Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago and some eastern cities took street cars, horse drawn carriages and special trains from Union Station to the show.
-Someone paid $301,000 at an auction for a Hereford bull in 1981 (usually they aren't that expensive, at least according to this website: http://bit.ly/2ESbGOX)
-Finally, in 1903, there was a baby contest for 3-year-olds. It was basically the original "Dance Moms."