With urban sprawl and the growth of our beloved concrete and cactus jungle, it’s easy to forget that this was once a great frontier of cowboys and cattle. Once a year the Arizona National Livestock Show rolls into town, with nearly 1,700 of the nation's best cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and swine competing for more than $66,000 in prize money, to remind us of that golden past.
Aside from a showing of animals that will put the nearest urban farmer to shame, cowboys from across the state will saddle up for a series of competitive events including a ranch rodeo, a working ranch horse competition, and a commercial replacement heifer show and sale – the kind of stuff that leaves the urban boot wearer feeling pretty incompetent. Ranch rodeo events include wild cow milking, calf branding, stray gathering, and trailer loading.
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Thu., Dec. 27, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., 2012