The seventh annual Fallon Ranch Rodeo has arrived on the heels of summer again, the three day competition sanctioned by the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association (WSRRA) and a staple in Fallon tradition.
The rodeo begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Tickets are $5 and attendance is free for kids 10 and under.
Richard Allegre, founder of the Fallon Ranch Rodeo, is hosting 20 teams at the Churchill County Fairgrounds all weekend, a larger turnout of competitors than any year prior despite the record heat.
“I had to turn away two teams because 20 is about the maximum I can hold at the fairgrounds in two days,” Allegre said. ”We try to do this early morning and in the evening because of the summer, and hopefullly this weekend won’t be as hot as this past week, but it draws a big crowd.”
The competitors are four-person men, womens and mixed teams, though, the events are ranch style instead of arena style.
“There’s actually ranch working cowboys who enter this rodeo,” Allegre said on the key difference, “and it’s actually our practices done on a ranch.”
Events such as this include working stock dog demonstrations, barrel racing team branding, team doctoring, team tying, team roping, and team sorting as well as trailer loading (introduced last year), working ranch horse and women’s steer stopping as some of the main features.
Like last year, Friday night, after the dog demos and barrel racing, is once again the designated kids night which includes open youth gymkhana, mutton busting, goat branding, boot scramble and a cal un-decorating scramble.
But the stakes are high since the winning men and womens teams have a chance at the state competition in Winnemucca in November since the ranch rodeo has been sanctioned as a prelimenary qualifier by the WSRRA since Allegre founded the event seven years ago.
Though Allegre said Friday evening draws an estimated crowd of several hundred for kids events alone, this year may draw more in attendance on Saturday night than the usual 300-400 rodeo fans with the record number of teams from Winnemucca, Round Mountain, Austin, Duckwater, and some from California and Oregon.
Part of the reason for the predicted boost in attendees and competitors alike is, as previously stated, that the winning mens/womens teams will be able to compete in the Nevada State Ranch Rodeo in Winnemucca in November, not to mention awards from first place down to fourth place made possible by sponsorships. The rodeo is a points race where the teams win based on the best average score as opposed to success in individual events, appealing more to general rodeo experience and a diverse team of four than one all-star carrying a group.
Despite any differences in skill as individuals, Allegre said usually the teams are all pretty good at handling, riding and roping the rodeo or else they wouldn’t really be there to begin with.
“There’s horsemanship and sportsmanship and all those things involved,” Allegre said. “Everybody supports each other and nobody’s out for blood. That’s just how ranchers get along. The competition is good and we’re cheering other teams on. That’s just how the western style is.”
The first place team stands to win eight buckles, while second wins eight saddle blankets, third eight head stalls and fourth wins eight spur straps, followed by a cash prize for the first place working ranch horse competitor and a buckle for the first place women’s steer stopping competitor.
Several sponsors include but are not limited to Nevada Livestock Marketing, Pinenut Livestock Supply, American AgCredit, Shasta Livestock (from Cottonwood, Calif.,), Hoofebeat Gates & Corrals, Family Dental, Travel Livestock Exchange, the Reno Rodeo and the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority.
While registration for teams and youth competitors is closed, sponsors may contact Allegre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775-848-2108 to inquire.
“I could go on and on with the number of people and places who have supported us,” Allegre said. “The cattle and livestock we have to get aren’t cheap. We have about 140-150 head of cattle every year or so, and it takes a lot. The fairgrounds, insurance things, there’s a lot to it. A rodeo doesn’t just happen.”