RENO DD On the first night of the 2003 Reno Rodeo, it was one of the final runs of the evening that made the most noise.
The event was filled with motorcylce stunts by rodeo clowns and fireworks, but Robey Condra of Dayton, Texas gave the crowd the most entertainment.
Condra rode Black Jack for the mandatory 8 seconds in the bull riding competition, earning a score of 89, by far the highest score of the night.
Ironically, Condra almost didn't even get to ride because the bull kept stalling in the gate. Condra had to wait for nearly a minute for the bull to get released, as the Reno Rodeo announcers tried to divert the attention of the crowd.
"That was the first bull that I've ever had that stalled in the gate like that. It wasn't a good feeling because you see bronc horses stall like that, but usually in bull riding they just stick you on your butt and bull goes right out of the box," he said. "It was an accident waiting to happen, kind of going through your mind. But when he left there he was awesome. He never gave me time to quit. He just kept me hustling the whole time."
Condra was bucked off his bull in the Xtreme Bull Riding competition Friday, but he used that experience to his advantage Saturday. He saw Black Jack in action and knew it would be a good fit for him.
"I watched him last night; my hauling partner had him and (Black Jack) threw him off. He was real good; he didn't do anything in the gate like that," he said. "We tried (to get him out of the gate) three times and I was supposed to get a re-ride, but that was the bull I wanted to get down on. They were going to give me the re-ride tomorrow night, but I wanted to get out on this bull so they me try one more time. A buddy of mine was poking him in the shoulder to get him out there. Finally he left and it worked out good."
With his score, Condra will almost definitely be in the final round for bull riding next weekend, where the riders with the top 12 scores will compete for the Reno Rodeo crown. Condra shouldn't have much to worry about if Saturday was a good measuring stick DD only one of the other eight riders was able to post a score, and it was 12 points behind Condra's. There will be bull riding competitions each night of the rodeo to determine the 12 finalists.
Naturally, Condra was pleased with his performance.
"It's a good way to get your Fourth of July run started. Reno is one of the biggest rodeo's this year and it's an awesome feeling to get (a bull) rode."
Now, Condra gets to sit back and relax until going out in the finals next weekend.
"I don't have any other rodeos going on, so I'm just going to get lots of rest. Go to the gym and work out. Have fun in Reno while I'm here."
Johnny Hammack of Powell Butte, Ore. returned to rodeo competition for the first time in over a year after an accident tore all the ligaments in one of his knees, and he made the most of it. Hammack took home the top score in the Saddle Bronc Riding competition, earning a 79 on top of I'm No Smokeless Angel, an award winning horse...Former collegiate champion Cody De Mers of Boulder, Mont. tied Bonham, Texas' Eric Swenson for first place in Bareback Bronc Riding, the rodeo's first event, with a score of 80...Selena Ulch, a University of Nevada-Reno student whose family has a long history of ranching, was named the 2003 Miss Reno Rodeo...University of Nevada-Reno running back Chance Kretschmer assisted in the rodeo by untying calfs in the Down Roping competition, which Odgen, Utah's Jake Hannum posted the top time in with an 8.9.