The Reno Rodeo is back in town, with the fun starting on Thursday June 19th at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center! This year is the 95th year the ‘wildest, richest rodeo of the west’ is in Reno. With vendors, a carnival and the rodeo itself, this really is an event the whole family will love. The fun started this past weekend, and will continue until the finals on Saturday night (June 28th). Each night, watch as cowboys and cowgirls test their riding skills in different events.
Nightly Rodeo Events Include:
Bareback: In this event cowboys have eight seconds to prove their skills (and stay on the horse), holding on with only one hand, and no saddle. The scores are based on the riders control and spurring technique, as well as the horses performance in trying to buck off the rider!
Bull Riding: These athletes have to stay on a bucking bull for eight seconds to even be scored. These bulls can weigh a ton, and are a lot more agile than one would think. If they can stay on the bull for the 8 seconds, the riders are then scored on their body position. Highest score wins!
Businessmen Steer Decorating: This fun event is for local sponsors, where teams of two have to hold a steer, and tie a ribbon on the tail. Might sound easy, but it’s tougher than you would think!
Mutton Bustin: This event is for the kids, and my personal favorite. Children under 7 can be entered to try out being cowboys and cowgirls themselves. They must hold on to a sheep for as long as they can (don’t worry, they are given pads and helmets). Where else do you think the bull-riders get their start?
Saddle Bronc: As the name implies, these cowboys are riding their broncos with a saddle on. Again, the rider must stay on for eight seconds. The scores come from the cowboys’ control while on the horse, and how hard the horse bucks. Riders must keep their feet in the stirrups, and can be disqualified if feet placement out of the gate is off.
Steer Wrestling: The goal for the cowboy is to get the steer on its back, with all four legs pointing in the same direction. The cowboy starts on horseback behind a gate, and the steer gets a head start. The cowboy chases down the steer, and jumps off the horse to tackle the steer down.
Team Roping: Two cowboys on horseback chase down a steer right out of the gate. The goal of this event, is for one cowboy to rope the steer’s head, and the other the back feet. The clock doesn’t stop until the steer is roped and the two cowboys’ horses are facing each other on opposite sides of the steer.
Tie-Down Roping: In this event, the cowboy and his horse must work together. The calf is let out first, with the cowboy on his horse trying to rope the steer. Once roped, the horse keeps the rope taut while the cowboy jumps off to tie three of the calf’s legs together.
WPRA Women’s Barrel Racing: The only event for women, barrel racing is all about excellent horsemanship, speed and a competitive streak. Three barrels are set up at the opposite end of the arena from the gate. The cowgirl enters the stadium at full speed, and starts rounding the barrels in a clover pattern. If they overturn a barrel, a five second penalty is tacked on to their overall time.
The events start at 7pm and go until 10pm. Arrive early enough to walk around the vendors, or take the kids on a few rides. For those over 21, the Jack Daniels beer tent is a great after-hours party! Don’t forget your cowboy boots!