Though the wind was gusting off Job's Peak and a few Stetsons looked more like tumble weeds than hats, the Carson/Douglas High School Rodeo got off to a big start Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Saturday saw the animals seemingly come away with victory, as few scores were posted, while the calves, steers, saddle broncs, and bulls mostly got away.
Only three of 10 cowboys could catch up with their steer in the wrestling go-around and three of nine saddle bronc riders held on to get a good ride. The calves were equally slippery in the roping and breakaway events.
The bulls were the biggest winners as only two of 20 riders lasted the necessary eight seconds to get a score. One wrangler was overheard to say that he'd never seen the bulls so mad, wondering if something in the wind might be spooking them. One bull, named Launching Pad, cleared a fence as the pick up men were trying to get him back in the pen.
Curry Fielder of Battle Mountain made the most of a re-ride, scoring a 59.000 for the bull riding lead after the first day.
Douglas High's Alyce Kugler and Jonathon Glocknitzer were the top local finishers after Saturday's events.
Glocknitzer finished second in both go-arounds of the boys cutting competition.
Kugler, team vice president, tied for first in the first cutting go-around and then tied for third in the second go-around, before finishing tenth in Saturday's barrel racing go-around with a time of 18.282.
Team president Pia Wendell posted a time of 18.732 in the barrels, good for 19th place. Elyse Heberger finished in 18.956 seconds to claim 27th and Moriah McCreary was 47th with a time of 20.434 seconds.
The Carson/Douglas high School Rodeo is the richest such event in Nevada, paying out go-around money to first through fourth place finishers in each event ($100, $75, $50 and $25) on both days of competition.The top two-day average scores in each event earn a belt buckle for the lucky cowboy or cowgirl and the top two all-around cowpokes will get a saddle.
With 150 competitors from all over the state, that adds up to quite a total purse.
"Our sponsors have been extra generous," said Sue Coffey, director of the Carson/Douglas rodeo team and co-director of the rodeo. "The support from local ranchers has been awesome. Without their help, we couldn't do this."
Coffey pointed out that James Settlemeyer donated 80 cows for use in the cutting competition and Corley Ranch provided the facilities. In addition, Jessica Ledbetter, Russell Scossa and the Park Cattle Company Ranch donated the hay used to feed the rodeo animals.
Volunteers are also high on Coffey's list for kudos.
"We're very grateful to all the local volunteers who help to keep the show running. All of the timers and wranglers and gate keepers that a rodeo can't do without, these people are all generously giving their time to make this thing fly. I just can't say enough about what they mean to this and every other high school rodeo event in the state. Every club is pretty much on their own. They get no funding from the schools, so volunteers keep these programs going."
The Rodeo will continue today starting at 8 a.m. for the second go-around in each event except cutting.