DENVER - Finally, a return to normalcy. You know, the normalcy of two 1,300-pound steers hanging out in a fancy hotel lobby.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Brown Palace Hotel once again welcomed the National Western Stock Show's Junior Market Champion and Reserve Champion - marking the 76th installment in this tradition.
This year's winner was Rhylee Rodgers, who traveled from Iowa with her steer, Yellers. In second place was Aven Horn, who came from Texas with hers, Bacardi.
The two pairs joined a part of history that goes back three-quarters of a century in Colorado, in a hotel celebrating its 130th year. Of course, the gap year made today all the more special.
"It sent chills down my spine... it was an incredible moment," said general manager Nick Moschetti. "We're a hotel that has these unique traditions like these events... we're so proud to be a part of this and that special place so many people enjoy, year after year."
Yellers and Bacardi will go to auction Friday night.