The 116th Annual National Western Stock Show returned this year (Jan 8-23).

I have a fondness for this stock show & rodeo (among many other events). I’m taking my daughter and grand kids to the working dog agility show (much more PG than the bull-riding.)

As someone who grew up on a farm (that wished to be a much larger cattle ranch), I went with my dad to the National Western. We put on our western best, which wasn’t so much western as “farm country.” I went with either my sister or brother, I don’t remember which. We were able to wander around the stock yards and go to a couple cattle auctions. I do not remember if my dad bought anything there.

I caught a peek of a rodeo in all its glory. We couldn’t afford to go, and so I decided that rodeos were for “rich people.”

I’ve been to a few now, and would recommend them over a circus any day.

I’m not immune to the controversy over rodeos and stock shows and treatment of animals (especially the bulls and the calf roping). However, strides have been made in managing the treatment of these animals, as well as the safety of the cowboys.

I was working in downtown Denver years ago and was able to see the annual “cattle drive” through downtown, where cowboys, dogs and others guide a small herd of bovines through the “concrete jungle” of downtown Denver.

On an aside, my oldest daughter, who is a President of Morris Media, who work with PBR (Professional Bull Riding), was able to be on Closing Bell for the New York Stock Exchange. Exciting!

Tina Battock,lower left at Closing Bell of NYSE, January 2022.