Your Stock Show 'lucky 7' list of things to see and do

Posted Friday, Jan. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- There are an overwhelming number of things to enjoy at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, which began Friday and continues through Feb. 9. In addition to all the livestock shows, vendors, concessions, the midway and other Stock Show mainstays, here are a few events and attractions that are well worth experiencing.

Horses gone wild

There are two competitions that involve animals which, a matter of a few months ago, were running wild. Mustang Magic (Jan. 24-26) and the Wild Burro Bonanza (Jan. 27), both in the Justin Arena, require contestants to break and train wild stock adopted through the Mustang Heritage Foundation. The mustang event, which judges horse and rider in several traditional horse show challenges, is an established show. But the donkey event is new this year.

Let's rodeo!

The Stock Show's PRCA rodeo (Thursday-Feb. 9) is one of the event's defining competitions. And many fans will welcome the news that Whiplash, the sheep-dog-riding monkey, will once again be part of the entertainment at the rodeo performances. Also, don't forget that the Stock Show offers four other special rodeos prior to its main one: Best of the West Invitational Ranch Rodeo (Friday and Saturday); Best of Mexico Celebracion (Sunday); Cowboys of Color Rodeo (Monday); and Bulls' Night Out (Tuesday and Wednesday).

Bang for your buck

Cowboy Mounted Shooting, which debuted at the Stock Show last year, is back (Jan. 30 in the Justin Arena). This hell-bent-for-leather speed event requires riders to aim straight and hit their targets (usually balloons) while moving faster than any other competitor in a number of timed classes.

Take a break from livestock

Remember that, like last year, a general admission ticket to the Stock Show will give you basic admission to the neighboring Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which also houses the Cattle Raisers Museum, and the nearby National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

Boots and cold beer

The Rodeo Roadhouse (officially, the Coors Rodeo Roadhouse), the Stock Show's popular honky-tonk-in-a-tent, returns to offer live music and good times, especially before and after each rodeo performance.

Cash cows (OK, steers)

Last year's Junior Sale of Champions, where all the top prize-winning cattle, hogs, sheep and goats are sold at auction to deep-pocketed bidders who want to reward the efforts of young people working in agriculture, was a record-breaker, with the top steer bringing a staggering $230,000 ($173.19 per pound). Will this year see that record fall? The sale is Feb. 9 in the West Arena.

Dog-day afternoon

The Southwestern Sheep Dog Trials (Feb. 9 in the Watt Arena) always close the Stock Show and many fans would say that is a case of saving the best for last. Watching these highly trained sheep dogs herd lambs through an obstacle course, aided only by a few hand signals and whistles from their handlers, is one of the most amazing displays of skill offered at the Stock Show, which filled with so many wondrously skilled animals.

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