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The National Western Stock Show is held every January at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colorado. First held in 1906, it is the world's largest stock show by number of animals and offers the world’s only carload and pen cattle show in the historic Denver Union Stockyards. The stock show is governed by the Western Stock Show Association, a Colorado 501 (c) 3 institution, which produces the annual National Western Stock Show in an effort to forward the association's mission: "To preserve the western lifestyle by providing a showcase for the agricultural industry through emphasis on education, genetic development, innovative technology and offering the world's largest agricultural marketing opportunities."
Proceeds from the National Western Stock Show go to the National Western Scholarship Trust. The Trust awards 64 scholarships annually to students studying agriculture and medicine to practice in rural areas at colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming.
The Horse Shows at the annual National Western Stock Show are among the largest in the world with more than 18,000 entries at the 2006 event, including Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, Hunters & Jumpers, FUSE Open Horse Shows, Mules Shows and the Draft Horse Show & Pull.
The National Western Rodeo is nationally recognized as one of the largest indoor rodeos, and has won honors from the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association (PRCA), including multiple ‘Indoor Rodeo of the Year’ titles.
Events held during the stock show include the Citizen of the West banquet, the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions, Children Ranch land, Pony Trails interactive education area, Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, the Martin Luther King Junior African-American Heritage Rodeo, Professional Bull Riding performances, An Evening of Dancing Horses dressage and reining demonstrations, Wild West Shows, Super Dogs, Dodge Freestyle Reining competition, Jack Daniel's Grand Pr-ix, Downtown Denver Stock Show Parade and the International Livestock Congress. The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) also holds its Touring Pro Division (minor-league tour) Finals at the stock show every January.
The National Western Stock Show celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in 2006 with record crowds and entries.
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