While most show horses and riders spend their winters either relaxing and training
between seasons, or competing on the warm-weather circuits, many intrepid equestrians will
kick off their 2011 show season this month at the National Western Stock Show in Denver,
year, the NWSS runs from January 9-23 and includes equestrian competition for all breeds,
a rodeo and a trade fair in addition to the livestock show.
Quarter Horse Show
The competition for American Quarter Horses launched before the NWSS with the Rocky Mountain
Quarter Horse Association PreDenver Circuit from January 1-9, one of the largest Quarter
Horse shows in the country. Competitors compete under seven judges in western and English
pleasure, halter, cattle events, reining and barrel racing. An AQHA Ranch Horse
Versatility competition will also take place during the show.
The Hunter/Jumper section of the NWSS is a USEF rated show and runs from January 14-17.
Highlights of the show include the $5,000 Top of the Rockies Jumper Stake and the $10,000
Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake. The grand finale of competition is the $40,000 Jack
Daniel’s Grand Prix on the evening of January 17.
Horses of all breeds and disciplines will compete at the NWSS Classic Open Horse Show from
January 18-19. Hunt seat, western and saddle seat pleasure and equitation and pleasure
driving classes dominate the schedule.
Draft Horses and Mules
The final weekend of the NWSS brings the Draft Horse Show and Pull. Drafts compete in
halter, driving and pulling classes with the American Classic Series Six-Horse Hitch World
Championships as a featured event.
Additional horse and equestrian events take place at the NWSS. The PRCA Pro Rodeo runs
throughout the entire show. Shows for Paints, mules and donkeys, reiners and team penning
are also included in the schedule. Two showings of “An Evening of Dancing Horses” will
feature dressage, freestyle reining and drill team choreography. A wild west show in the
style of Buffalo Bill includes trick riding and western entertainment.
For more information, a full schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, visit