A few weeks ago, the riding team headed up to Denver to attend the annual National Western Stock Show.
The original purpose of the Stock Show was to exhibit the breeding and feeding techniques to potential area stockmen. It has since turned into a large tourist destination dedicated to showing livestock, rodeos and horse shows. It is the largest Western trade show in Colorado.
We arrived around 2:30 p.m. and spent the afternoon roaming the huge grounds. As the girls split off to go find their favorite attraction from last year, my friends and I headed straight to the funnel cake food truck to get our first cake of the night. After this, with four cakes in tow, we headed to check out all the booths and stands that crowed the huge building. We tested out massage chairs, admired the mini saunas, and walked into every five-figure horse trailer we could find.
As we walked around the grounds, we ran into others from the team lugging bags of fur hats and popcorn. Later we explored the basement, which consisted of the cows, bathed and blow dried, ready to be shown. We continually tried to sneak in a pet, eventually too scared as the owners yelled at tourists to keep their hands away from their precious cows. The top floor consists of the petting zoo, a very popular attraction. Unfortunately, this year the line was too long to get into, but in past years this was the favorite attraction, with the baby goats, alpacas, and sheep.
As 7 p.m. drew closer, we all crowded into the big stadium across the street from all the other attractions for one of the most popular events -- the $40,000 Grand Prix. This is where riders ride around a course of 4 ft 9 in. - 5 ft. jumps as fast as they can without knocking a rail. The fastest riders win the $40,000. We eagerly sat at the edge of our seats as each rider went around. With each knocked rail came big sighs from the audience, sad to see their favorite horse and rider not make it to the jump off.
The night came to an end and we trudged back to the bus, sad to be heading back to campus after a fun day. We climbed into the bus, cold and tired. As per usual, we went around the bus discussing the oddest buys and favorite art pieces from the gallery. Eventually, everyone fell asleep, exhausted from the busy day, but dreaming of next year when we can return and do everything all over again!