Denver stock show postponed

The annual National Western Stock Show held in Denver, Colorado, will not be held in 2021, the stock show association announced today.

The 115th running of the major livestock show has been postponed until Jan. 8-23, 2022.

“The COVID-19 pandemic does not allow for the stock show to host the annual event and comply with the health and safety guidelines that are necessary to protect Coloradans and help stop the spread,” the association said in a news release.

“More importantly, the projected environment through to the end of the year is too uncertain and therefore not reassuring enough to allow a traditional stock show to take place without potentially compromising the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors and the public at large.”

Western Stock Show Association president and chief executive officer Paul Andrews said the board and officials exhausted all options when considering how to safely host the event but “could not find a path forward” to comply with rules governing gatherings and social distancing.

The Denver show is considered to be the Super Bowl of livestock shows. In addition to multiple breed shows, it includes a large trade show, horse shows and professional rodeo competition.

According to WSSA figures, it typically draws more than 700,000 attendees during its 16-day run, with daily attendance of more than 65,000 people on site.

Numerous Canadian beef cattle breeders typically attend the show and many have had success in the international competition.

Last January, Wilbar Cattle Co. of Dundurn, Sask., showed the grand champion Angus bull in Denver and a Simmental bull bred by JT Livestock of Stettler, Alta., was named reserve grand champion.

The Denver event joins a long list of livestock shows cancelled because of the pandemic. On the Canadian Prairies, COVID-19 has led to cancellation or drastic alterations to most major livestock shows.

Canadian Western Agribition, which was scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 5 in Regina, has recently announced plans for a “virtual” purebred beef show designed to allow breeders to showcase their stock through video presentations.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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