Craftsmen

Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase Guidelines

WLTCS at the 2022 National High School Rodeo Finals

Western Horseman is excited to host their annual Western art contest at the 2024 National High School Finals Rodeo.

Young talent in the Western horse world doesn’t just show up horseback in the performance pen or the rodeo arena. It also appears in the artistry and craftsmanship of custom-made items, from gear to jewelry.

That’s why Western Horseman has partnered with the National High School Rodeo Association to sponsor the Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The showcase celebrates the wide talent of NHSRA and NHSRA Junior High Division members outside the performance arena through a judged contest of handmade functional Western items.

Submissions for the contest, which are open to all current NHSRA and Junior High Division members — not just those competing at nationals, should serve a purpose in the Western lifestyle. Examples include bits, tack, purses, jewelry, and belts. The 2023 Overall Champion, Emma Arndt entered a pair of leggings. “My goal for these leggings was to make something that I have never seen before and to make them very flashy and unique,” says Arndt. “The hardware is sterling silver and genuine turquoise. There is also genuine gator inlaid.”

Reserve Overall Champion Walker Hanafin was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his welded boot rack.

Western Horseman is excited to host the Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase at the 2024 National High School Finals Rodeo.

Contest Details

The 2024 contest will feature four categories: Art, Craftsmanship, Household Items and Fashion and Jewelry. Western Horseman will award scholarships to the top three in each category as well as an Overall Winner and Overall Reserve. New for this year, we will also be offering prizes to the People’s Choice as well as an “All-Around” award for participants who submit multiple pieces.

“It’s a core piece of Western Horseman’s mission to promote the cowboy spirit and the Western way of life,” says Dani Licklider, director of Western brands at Morris Communications, which owns Western Horseman. The publication has sponsored NHSRA for more than 20 years, and began sponsoring the Trade Craft Showcase in 2021.

“We’re very interested in seeing the next generation succeed whether they want to be rodeo athletes or trainers, or they want to go into the Western industry as a career—we want to help them achieve their goals,” Licklider says. “Wherever your niche is, there’s a place for you in this industry. And we want to help kids find that.”

New for this year, a member may submit only ONE item per entry. Item sets will not be permitted. However, a member may submit two entries per category.

If not competing at the NHSFR, entries for the Trade Craft Showcase can be shipped to the NHSRA Office (NHSRA, Attn: Gary Hawkes 12011 Tejon St., Suite 900, Denver, CO 80234) by June 28, or sent with a member’s state NHSRA representative. Items must be checked in at the Western Horseman booth by July 14 to qualify.

Meet the Makers from the 2023 Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase

Western Horseman is excited to host the Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase at the 2024 National High School Finals Rodeo.

WLTCS Awards

Overall Scholarship Awards

  • Overall Grand Champion: $1,250
  • Overall Reserve Champion: $1,000

Art Scholarship Awards

  • Art 1st Place: $850
  • Art 2nd Place: $550
  • Art 3rd Place: $150

Craftsmanship Scholarship Awards

  • Craftsmanship 1st Place: $850
  • Craftsmanship 2nd Place: $550
  • Craftsmanship 3rd Place: $150

Fashion & Jewelry Scholarship Awards

  • Fashion & Jewelry 1st Place: $850
  • Fashion & Jewelry 2nd Place: $550
  • Fashion & Jewelry 3rd Place: $150

Household Items Scholarship Awards

  • Household Items 1st Place: $850
  • Household Items 2nd Place: $550
  • Household Items 3rd Place: $150

Total Scholarship Awards: $8,450

In addition to scholarship money, this year Western Horseman has partnered with Be A Maker School to help provide continuing education for two lucky students interested in further developing their trade craft skills. BAMS is a subscription-based educational service that offers courses in silversmithing and engraving, chap making and leather tooling, rawhide and leather braiding, Western photography and cinch making. Recipients can choose whichever course in the Western trades they desire to learn that BAMS offers.

Award #1 — Dedicated Subscription to Be A Maker School

  • Awarded to the Overall Champion of the Trade Craft Showcase

Subscription Includes

  • 12 instructional videos ranging in length from 15-25 mins each
  • Membership to BAMS Facebook Group for collaboration and support from other makers
  • Tools & resource lists to make the building of your tool inventory as easy as possible
  • Six Monthly live Q&A Zoom sessions with all the students of your particular instructor
  • Six Monthly One on One 30-minute Zoom sessions with your instructor. This is a fantastic opportunity to have mentorship directly from your instructor.
  • Additional handouts in certain courses
  • Lifetime access to all the videos, handouts, tools and resource lists
  • $1482 Value (just for the course not including the lifetime of value this skill will provide)!

Award #2 — Doer Subscription to Be A Maker School

  • Awarded to the All-Around winner — the participant who receives the highest score from all four categories.

Subscription Includes

  • 12 instructional videos ranging in length from 15-25 mins each
  • Membership to BAMS Facebook Group for collaboration and support from other makers
  • Tools & resource lists to make the building of your tool inventory as easy as possible
  • Six Monthly live Q&A Zoom sessions with all the students of your particular instructor
  • A single 30-minute Zoom session one on one with your instructor. Student can choose date they wish for this to happen depending on their schedule
  • Additional handouts in certain courses
  • Lifetime access to all the videos, handouts, tools and resource lists
  • $762 value (just for the course not including the lifetime of value this skill will provide)!

Entrants to the Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase do have the option to offer their work for sale at the NHSFR. Be A Maker School has provided participants a breakdown of how to price their work. Check out the comprehensive document here.

For more information on the Western Lifestyle Trade Craft Showcase at the NHSFR, click here.

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