As the Churchill Country Fair starts in full swing, the Fallon Ranch Rodeo prepares to kick off its fifth annual rodeo.
The rodeo begins today with working stock dogs trials at 7 a.m. and then breaks until 5:30 p.m. with opening ceremonies at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
Saturday’s rodeo begins at 8:30 a.m. and resumes at 6 p.m. Sunday, meanwhile, commences at 7 a.m. with Cowboy Church followed by the rodeo at 8 a.m. and awards at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for ages 10 and older.
“There is a bunch of them throughout the state,” Richard Allegre said of the rodeo’s origins. “There wasn’t one in Fallon. I thought I could do this. We’ve got buckles, saddle blankets and ropes for prizes. The money is paid back to the teams.”
Saturday’s rodeo, meanwhile, features a tribute to the late Justin Edgemon, who died in March. Allegre said Edgemon’s widow, Janell Edgemon, will escort a horse with an empty saddle around the arena in honor of her late husband.
“He had a team every since it started (in 2010),” Allegre said of Justin Edgemon. “So we are going to do a tribute to him.”
The three-day event is not like a traditional rodeo.
The ranch hand rodeo will feature numerous professional cowboys, but will also highlight ranch hands. The events, meanwhile, are catered to a ranch hand’s work experience.
Team events include team branding, doctoring, sorting, roping and tying. In addition, the women will take a crack at steer stopping in a jackpot format.
Branding features a four-man team and four animals to be roped and branded (it is actually paint) in the fastest time. Each team is divided into pairs and must “brand” where they are directed by the event organizers.
Doctoring consists of 30 head numbered in three sets from one to 10. A number is called and competitors drive one of the animals back into a pen, rope it and draw a triangle on the neck.
Allegre, though, said the sorting event is heavy with crowd participation. Cows are numbered from 1-15 with five blanks. When a number is called, they have to corall the number called plus the next three consecutive numbers.
“The crowd is looking for the numbers, too,” Allegre said.
Allegre’s rodeo, however, is going up against another ranch hand event in Gardnerville. The Gardnerville rodeo, he said, did not realize the Fallon event was on the same weekend.
Nevertheless, Allegre said numerous participants will compete in both rodeos.
For this year’s Fallon rodeo, Allegre said 17 teams have registered despite the conflict with the Minden Ranch Rodeo.
“They didn’t realize theirs was the same weekend as mine,” Allegre said. “I’ve been working with them to split our teams so they can rodeo here one day … and then go over there. We got like six teams who are going to do that.”
He said three teams hail from California, two from Lovelock with the most coming from Fallon.
“They are ranch hands, some are cowboys,” Allegre said. “They’re not all cowboys, but most have a ranching background.”
In addition to the rodeo events, the rodeo will feature a new event featuring working ranch dogs and a barrel race.
“Some of the events are what is done on a ranch,” Allegre said. “All these events are practical ranch events. It’s not like a regular rodeo, we don’t have any roughstock.”