100 Years of Trade, Education and Fellowship
WESA Trade Show


The Western & English Sales Association (WESA) was organized in 1921 with the goal of creating a forum where retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives could conduct business in an atmosphere of fair trade and fellowship. Today, the International Western/English Apparel & Equipment Trade Shows are the world’s largest trade events for the equestrian industry, attracting more than 600 product lines and over 3,400 retailers a year.


  • In 1921, the Association was founded by seven sales representatives traveling the mountain states under the corporate name “Men’s Apparel Club of Colorado”. The founders envisioned that the Club would, “…advance fellowship and good feeling between retail merchants and the traveling salesmen’”, “bring all members/ exhibitors – permanent tenants and temporary exhibitors – into a comprehensive group” and “promote the exchange of new and successful ideas”. This early vision is still incorporated in today’s core values of trade, education, and fellowship.
  • The founders were Bert Chapman, Abe Goldstein, Charles Jacobs, Henry Bromley, Herbert Daily, Frank Connely and Byron Le Maitre.
  •  The first Trade Show took place in January 1922. Members of the Men’s Apparel Club of Colorado exhibited their goods on one floor of the Albany Hotel in Denver, CO. The categories included men’s apparel, western apparel, boots and shoes.
  • As the Trade Show grew, sales representatives split showrooms between the Albany Hotel and the Daniel’s & Fisher Tower.


  • Floyd Fleming (1957) and Tom Moody (1958) are Men’s Apparel Club Presidents.


  • The number of Western product representatives increased in the 1960s, which led the event to be renamed to “Western and Dress Apparel Show”. The Association defined requirements and conditions for the membership.
  • A second annual Trade Show was introduced and first held in October but later moved to September as a result of the industry’s rapid fashion changes.
  • In 1965, the Denver Merchandise Mart opened. Several sales representatives occupied new showrooms, while others remained at the Albany Hotel.
  • The rest of the membership followed soon thereafter as WESA officially moved to the DMM in 1966.
  • John Secrest (1962), Bill Murphy (1963), Don Anderson (1964), John Gass (1965), Marvin Pooley (1967), Keith Johnson (1968) and Barrett Burke (1969) are Men’s Apparel Club Presidents.


  • In 1970, the Association was renamed to Mountain States Men’s, Boys’ & Western Apparel Club.
  • The Denver Mart Expo Building opened in 1974, which increased exhibit space.
  • In 1979, the Department of Commerce Foreign Buyer Program officially designated MSMBWAC (Mountain States Men’s, Boy’s and Western Apparel Club) as an International Market.
  • Bill Shoen (1970), Joe Leblanc (1971), Glen Michener (1972), Jack Peck (1973), Bob Davidson (1974-1975), Gerry Marquand (1976), Bob Murphy (1977-1978) and Ron Irwin (1979) are Mountain States Men’s, Boys’ & Western Apparel Club Presidents.


  • In 1985, the Denver Mart Pavilion building opened, which added 65,000 sq ft of event space.
  • In 1986, “English” was added to the Trade Show’s name as it was called “Men’s & Western Apparel, Western & English Tack”.
  • In 1998, the Denver Mart Plaza opened, which added 32,000 sq ft of event space.
  • In 1989, members finally chose to rename the Association “Western & English Sales Association”, which reflected the image of the Trade Show as it had become one of the “nation’s premier Equestrian and Western events” through the 60s and 70s and “the largest show of its kind”. The objectives ranged from promoting industry interests and encourages cooperation, over supporting organizations by supporting their ethics and welfare, to improving the relationship between Western and English Apparel and Equipment retailers.
  • Ron Irwin (1980), Kent Hopper (1981-1982), Jack Ursetta (1983), Jack Lutz (1984-1985), Barbara Taylor (1986) and Dennis High (1987-1988) are Mountain States Men’s, Boys’ & Western Apparel Club
  • Jerry Johnson (1989) is WESA President. 


  • The WESA Trade Show exhibitors and buyers started to be entertained by prominent entertainers such as Garth Brooks in 1991, Clay Walker in 1993 and Tracy Lawrence in 1995.
  • With 1085 members by 1994, the Association doubled in size.
  • In 1997, WESA boasts a record membership number of 1,200 manufacturers and sales representatives.
  • WESA celebrates the 75th Anniversary in 1997 with a focus on both WESA’s tradition and growth.
  • In 1998, the Denver Mart Plaza opened, which added 32,000 sq ft of event space.
  • Jerry Johnson (1990), Buck Anderson (1991-1992), Robert (Bud) Cash (1993-1994), Steve Croft (1995-1996), Toby Lewis (1997-1998) and John Archuleta (1999) are WESA Presidents.


  • WESA celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2002.
  • John Archuleta (2000), Jack Tait (2001-2002), Bill Shackelford (2003-2004), Dennis Walkingshaw (2005-2006), Jaye Wilson (2007-2008), Denis Arey (2009) are WESA Presidents.


  • In 2012, WESA celebrated its 90th anniversary.
  • In 2018, WESA rebranded to cater to its global audience.
  • Denis Arey (2010), Gene House (2011-2012), Mark Broughton (2013-2014), Scott Piper (2015-2016), Gerald Adame (2017-2018) and Jay Phillips (2019) are WESA Presidents.


  • In 2021, WESA held its first Trade Shows at its new location, the Dallas Market Center.
  • Jay Phillips (2020) and Patrick Powers (2021-2022) are WESA Presidents.