History Highlights of the Westernaires at National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, part 3 of 3

(Continued from Part 1 and Part 2)

I can say, without any reservations, I don’t think there is anyone in the world that can touch the Westernaires.
— Hadley Barrett, PRCA Hall of Fame Rodeo Announcer, at National Western Stock show in 1982

1967 – Westernaires celebrates the Centennial anniversary of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) was founded in 1867—nine years before Colorado became a state.  It became the first statewide cattlemen’s association in the nation.  1967 brought its 100th anniversary, and Westernaires was pleased and honored to help them celebrate at the National Western Stock Show that year.

Perfection of speed, timing, and spacing is abundantly evident in the "Starburst" maneuver, performed by the Westernaires Varsity Big Red Team at the 1967 National Western Stock Show.

Westernaires founder, Elmer E. Wyland, gives a tip of the hat in the arena after a Westernaires performance at the 1967 National Western Stock Show.

Varsity Big Red Team performs their "Corkscrew" maneuver at the 1967 National Western Stock Show.

Mike Skelton entering the arena carrying the Colorado Flag for the Varsity Big Red Team.  The Varsity flag riders wore cowboy garb in celebration of 100 years of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.

Not only are they great in the arena!  Westernaires specialty acts were tapped to perform a stage show on Denver's 16th Street - on top of the May D&F ice skating rink.  A Westernaires quartet entertains the audience on Denver's 16th Street on January 21st, 1967. 

A Westernaires roper performs a "Double Wedding Ring with Toe Dance" rope trick for the public on 16th Street to promote Denver's 1967 National Western Stock Show and the 100th anniversary of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.


1969 – Westernaires Introduces their Dressage-inspired act to the audience of the National Western Stock Show

Westernaires has been honored to share so many of their specialty teams with the National Western's audiences, including (but not limited to) their: Sidesaddles to Satellites act, indian Fantasy act, bullwhip act, Cavalry battle, Riders of the Steppes, trick riders, roman riders, and many more.  Here are some highlights of the 1969 National Western debut of the Westernaires dressage-inspired team.

Dressage Captain Melody Mundell, followed by Sharon Easley, leads the Dressage team into their gracefully-measured act, 1969.

Riders perform the side-pass maneuver at the 1969 National Western Stock Show.

Melodie Mundell salutes the National Western Stock Show crowd during the 1969 exhibition of the dressage riders of Westernaires.


1998 – The "Wild West Show" makes its debut at NWSS, and Westernaires are asked to provide multiple acts within the show


2001 – Westernaires present a completely redesigned Grand Entry – lighted horses and riders enter into a dark coliseum

Always looking to innovate and provide even more excitement to the National Western Stock Show audiences, Westernaires introduced a new Grand Entry act in 2001.  The drill is performed in a completely darkened arena (which can be challenging for both horse and rider), and the visuals are stunning.  The technology of battery packs and illumination continues to evolve with LED innovation, and 2016 brought the 3rd generation of super-bright LEDs.

Westernaires lighted Grand Entry in their 1st generation costuming at the 2001 National Western Stock Show.

Westernaires lighted Grand Entry in their 2nd generation costumes.

The Westernaires lighted Grand Entry team, in their 3rd generation costumes, dash through the gate and into the arena at the 2016 National Western Stock Show. 

Westernaires lighted Grand Entry team performs a "Propeller" maneuver at the 2016 National Western Stock Show.  These super-bright LED costumes are the latest in technology, and represent the 3rd generation of these Grand Entry costumes.  Thank you to John Mah for the use of this picture.

The Westernaires Varsity Big Red Team perform their LED-lit Grand Entry drill at Denver's National Western Stock Show Rodeo on January 23, 2016.


2011 – National Western's New Wild West Show premieres

A new, action-packed show reproduces the groundbreaking Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show that formed in 1883 and lasted until 1915.  National Western audiences flock to take part in these historically-themed, dashing, stunt-filled acts and stories that bring history to life.

Westernaires trick riders make quite the spectacle in National Western's Wild West Show.  Here's McKenna Butler at a 2016 Wild West Show performance.  (Photo by Insight Imagery, LLC)

Westernaires Cavalry riders play numerous parts in National Western's Wild West Show.  (Photo by Insight Imagery, LLC)


There seems to be some general reservations [in this nation] as to whether our young people are ready to take over our country, and the duties to replace and manage a country like ours. And I get the strong feeling in watching the discipline and dedication in what [the Westernaires] have to do and apply themselves. I think what touches me most in these drills is the very intricate and beautiful choreography. I mean, it’s beautiful and it’s something else to watch it. You know, I get the feeling that this is what we are all about in America. That if these are the kind of people that are going to take over the the duties to run our country, I’m not afraid to turn it over to them at all.
— Hadley Barrett, PRCA Hall of Fame Announcer, at National Western Stock Show in 1982

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