A stroll through the history of the National Western Stock Show
Mid Century1930s - 1960s
Silver Jubilee - 25th Anniversary
January 10, 1931: Denver Post, Horse Show - Rodeo Cartoon
Since then the National Western Rodeo has included most of the great contestants of rodeo, human and animal.
Two of the greatest horses to appear at the National Western were Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight who drew spectators to the rodeo in the 1930s.
1935 Horse Show and Rodeo Program, featuring Five Minutes to Midnight
In 1935, the Catch-It-Calf program began with 4-H boys completing. Now known as Catch-A-Calf, it is one of the more popular events at the rodeo and livestock show. In 1974 girls began completing in the program.
1950 Program, page 50, featuring Catch-It Contest Rules
As a side effect of increased machination of farming interest in draft horses began to wane. As a result, draft horse competition would leave the Horse Show in the early 1940s.
As it did during World War I the Stock Show would continue during World War II. All the 1943 profits would be invested in War Bonds.
In 1944 the first National Western American Quarter Horse Association show was held.
The 1945 stock show would be a history-maker. Entries filled the facilities. The show would be expanded to nine days and nearly 400 junior steers were sold at auction in the Yards the Friday before the show started.
What was the stock show like in the 1940s and early 1950s? Here are some photos to help you visualize what it was like in a cattle barn at the 1946 stock show.