Cattle shows, rodeos, more at 49th NILE in Billings
Billings, MT–The third week of October Billings returns to it’s cow-town roots for the 49th annual NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition). Eight days of livestock shows, rodeos and western traditions October 15-22, 2016.
Kicking off the week the Farstad Oil Ranch Rodeo Finals opens at 7 p.m. highlighting the modern day cowboys in historically inspired events. It’s a rank rodeo that doesn’t stop being entertaining the whole night through! Purchase tickets at metrapark.com
The first cattle show starts at 8 a.m. Sunday, October 16 when the Shorthorn breed steps into the show ring. Sunday also begins the Jr. Fed Livestock Shows beginning with hog exhibitors at noon, steers at 4 p.m. (or thirty minutes after the conclusion of the AOB show). Jr. Fed shows continue Monday, October 17 with lambs at 8 a.m. and goats at 1 p.m. These young agriculturists are the future of the industry come out to support their future endeavors at the Jr. Fed Sale of Champions Tuesday, October 18 at 5 p.m. Sale proceeds benefit future livestock projects, and college education savings.
NILE welcomes exhibitors from surrounding states and Canada. Fourteen different cattle breed shows span the week. The best of the best are named at the Supreme Row Show 5 p.m Saturday, October 22. For a complete list of all the livestock shows go to thenile.org
From Boots, to boutiques, barn yard supplies and everything in between, there is something for everyone. Over 200 vendors and 25 plus food vendors are on tap for this year’s Stock Show. Best of all, it is FREE to visit. Open daily October 15-22 with no gate charge.
Roll in to Billings from the rural regions for Rancher’s Day Wednesday, October 19. The Cow Horse Bash sets the day in motion at 7:30 a.m. with alternating AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge classes in the Rimrock Auto Arena. Horses and riders exhibit the prime partnership needed to work cows. Make room for the Texas Longhorn show at 8 a.m. in the Heritage Building.
Shortly after lunch at 1 p.m. the Commercial Heifer Classic Pen show gets under way. Cattlemen compete for $10,000 in total cash and prizes. Public can get in on the competition in the Cattlemen’s Cut Judging contest. Take a shot at sorting cattle–try to line the commercial heifer pens up the same way the judges do. A prize package valued at over $3,500 is up for grabs!
Also on Rancher’s Day Dr. Ron Gill from Texas A & M demonstrates low stress cattle handling techniques. Utilizing dogs to maneuver the cattle Dr. Gill explains the importance of maintaining a calm atmosphere. He is professor and Extension livestock specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension. The demonstration is from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Ford F150 EcoBoost Arena in the Expo Center.
Exceptional horses walk, trot and gallop through competition Thursday for the Gold Buckle Select Horse Futurities at 8:30 a.m. Horse enthusiasim continues Friday and Saturday for the two Gold Buckle Select Horse Sales. Friday highlights weanlings and yearlings and Saturday highlights performance horses ranging from rope, rodeo, and/or ranch horses (plus a couple ponies!) Sales promptly begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Rimrock Auto Arena.
Rodeo action returns to the arena Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. followed by Friday and Saturday night performances. Each night incorporates a theme for added fun. Thursday is the annual Cat/Griz Chute Out. Rodeo contestants are divided into two teams–either representing the MSU Bobcats of the UM Grizzlies. The “team” that performs the best wins major bragging rights and that school’s rodeo team is awarded a scholarship. The spotlight also shines on the up and coming rodeo stars in the Tvetene Turf High School Rodeo Showcase.
October is breast cancer awareness month and NILE joins in the fight with Tough Enough to Wear Pink Friday. The toughest sport on dirt wears pink to support the battle against breast cancer. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the St. Vincent’s Eva Project–providing mammograms for women in need.
Saturday night the NILE salutes Police in a dramatic opening ceremony and throughout the night. It’s one small way to say thank you to the service and sacrifice of these public servants. Treating them and their families to the biggest and best indoor rodeo in Montana.
Rodeo tickets begin at $10 and up. Discounts available. For more information visit metrapark.com
Billings, Montana becomes the center for top notch livestock–hogs to horses, for a week of events. Numerous events, competitions, exhibitors, spectators and animals provide enjoyment for everyone. Don’t miss the 49th NILE Stock Show and Rodeo October 15-22, 2016!