Horse Youth Programs

Equestrian Youth Opportunities at the NWSS

The Horse Show strives to support the National Western’s overall mission of supporting youth and education within our agricultural industry. We host several events and programs in a variety of areas for local youth to experience different parts of this premier horse show and earn scholarship money.

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Youth Ranch Horse Mentor Matchup
Mentor Matchup

Event Date: January 8, 2022  | Events Center, CINCH Arena

This event provides an opportunity for local equestrian youth to learn and compete during NWSS through relevant hands–on educational activities with their equine partner and top equine professionals.

Mentor Matchup matches selected youth with industry professionals who act as their “coach” for the day. They will be given one-on-one practice time in the morning followed by a competition in the afternoon. A Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion will be named and awarded scholarship money of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

Up to 10 individuals, ages 14-21, from Colorado and Wyoming will be selected to participate. Selections will be based on:

  • Horse and rider connection and potential
  • Desire to be involved in the equine industry
  • Professionalism
  • Humane and respectful treatment of all animals and individuals

Competition tasks will be determined once finalists are selected and may include: ranch trail obstacles, reining maneuvers and cattle work such as roping, boxing, sorting and/or fence work.

2022 Mentor Matchup Specifications

Applications Open:
Applications Close:

Youth Freestyle Reining Showcase
Youth Freestyle Reining

This event provides local youth within the equine industry an opportunity to showcase their talents in freestyle reining and be recognized during a prestigious event at the National Western Stock Show. Selected youth will perform prior to the RAM Invitational Freestyle Reining.

Interested youth must be a Colorado or Wyoming resident between 14 – 21 years of age and will be selected based on the procedure for the RAM Invitational Freestyle Reining. You will submit a completed application and a short video showing the horse/rider pair’s potential for a freestyle reining performance no later than September 30, 2021. Riders must have a current NRHA membership card and horses must have a current NRHA license to be considered. Selections will be based on quality, talent, creativity and entertainment.

2022 Youth Freestyle Reining Specifications

Applications Open:
Applications Close:

Event Date: January 9, 2022 | Events Center, CINCH Arena


Youth Equestrian Showcase (YES) Scholarship Program
2020 YES winners

The National Western Stock Show Youth Equestrian Showcase (Y.E.S.) scholarship program is intended to recognize and support our local equestrian youth and involve them in the educational opportunities of the NWSS. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2021.

Please read the specifications carefully BEFORE submitting an application. By signing and submitting an application, you agree to all the specifications.

2022 YES Program Specifications

Applications Open:
Applications Close:

Internship Opportunities
Stock Show College Internship Opportunity

The National Western offers internship positions in a multitude of areas. The Horse Show internship is a hands-on intense educational experience with the potential to build lifelong connections. These interns will be part of a strong team producing a world-class event and will spend time learning various aspects of the Horse Show. They will have direct contact with staff, exhibitors, and guests as well as production teams including announcers, producers, performers, and other staff.

For more information or to apply check out: Internship Program

Equine Event Internship

Spring-Summer (April-August)
This internship focuses on third-party managed equestrian events hosted at the National Western Complex throughout the year (Complex Events). Applicants need to receive credit through their school, university or institution. This internship is for school credit and is unpaid.

This educational internship provides event-planning experience with potential to build lifelong connections. Applicants should be enthusiastic, professional and have a strong work ethic. They must have strong communication and organizational skills, be detail oriented and possess an ability to handle themselves in various situations.

This internship will provide students an opportunity to learn about different aspects of the equine industry through hands-on experience with various shows and events hosted at the National Western Complex. They will work directly with show promoters and various NW staff to prepare for and provide an excellent experience for our Complex Events.

The intern will need to be available from approximately April 15th to August 15th for 8-12 hours a week. Submit your resume and cover letter to no later than March 31, 2022 to be considered. See the full description and details HERE.

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National Horse Judging

Event Date: January 7, 2022 | Denver Coliseum

Western National Roundup provides a place for youth to compete nationally while encouraging teamwork. The national youth development conference hosts 4-H & FFA youth from around North America and offers them workshops, networking, and fun in addition to national competitions. National Western proudly hosts the national horse judging and hippology contests.
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