The hype for the third annual DeGolyer Buckin’ Horse and Bull Bash did not disappoint Fallon rodeo fans on Saturday at the Churchill County Fairgrounds, sporting both a turnout of fans and competitors exceeding last year’s spectacle according to Cody DeGolyer.
“We ended up having 28 bull riders, 14 bronc riders; we just had a lot of great competitors,” DeGolyer said. “We had guys from Wyoming, Utah, California, Idaho, local boys. The crowd quite liked it.”
With so many competitors on top of some of the newly added events, including barrel racing and women’s steer riding, the rodeo packed in more than eight events into four hours. DeGolyer said more than 2,200 people attended.
“It went quite a long time but when you bucked out that much stock, almost 30 bulls and 16 horses along with mutton busting, women’s steer riders and wild horse races, we did all of that in about four hours,” DeGolyer said. “We went as fast as we could but we’re going to work on making that better for next year and squeezing it into a bit shorter of a time frame.”
DeGolyer said he doesn’t believe events dragged on, however, and it was hard to argue when the stands were packed to the edge almost to the very end of the bull riding and steer riding competitions which capped off the night’s main attractions.
“These are animals who are trying to kill — bulls and bucking horses, they’re not gentle you know so you can only have them go as fast as they want to go,” he said. “Working on their schedule a bit you can’t push them too much because they could start not cooperating.”
DeGolyer wasn’t exaggerating in particular when it came to the wild horse racing competition, featuring three teams from out of state in one of the most high-adrenaline spectacles of the night before bull-racing began. David Gregory, a member of the three-man horse racing team of Phillip Wurdinger and Dakota Loins from St. Paul, Ore,, was hard-pressed to agree when one of his own team, Wurdinger, was bucked hard off their horse with a red hoof-mark on his lower back for all to see as the team tried to wrestle back into the winner’s circle.
“We’ve competed all around in the circuit at Oregon and Idaho and Nevada as well,” Gregory said. “That was a tough horse for us. It’s like organized chaos.”
DeGolyer said he thought the crowd enjoyed the changes, particularly the barrel racing which featured a $500 payout and their own daughter, Dusty DeGolyer, competing in her first DeGolyer rodeo.
“She loved it,” he said of his daughter. “She had a great time competing with the bigger girls with more practice, so she was excited about it.”
DeGolyer couldn’t deny fans were most enthralled in the mens bull riding competition, featuring Levi Quillan who came second in the bracket matching his personal best score of 81.
“A bunch of his family came out to support him and he was super excited to win second,” DeGolyer said of Quillan’s older sister Kelly Quillan who achieved a time of 18.3 in the barrel racing. “They really stuck it to him, he had a really good bull and he was super tough all night and did a great job.”
The pre-rodeo and post-rodeo attractions didn’t disappoint either, according to DeGolyer, who saw a high youth turnout with the addition of the kids zone featuring professional face-painter Amy the Artist and Sheriff the Clown where kids could be supervised before and after the main events.
“I think one of the things they enjoyed the most was that it was free,” DeGolyer said of the kids zone attractions. “The face-painting was free, the water-slide and the bounce house for the kids were free. They came in and got to enjoy themselves and parents got to cut loose a little bit knowing their kids were having a good time and tugging on their coat tails the whole time. They had something to do.”
Aside from the sheer length of events and some PA system malfunctions, DeGolyer said all in all the show was a good deal and rodeo fans got their money’s worth, hoping to bring it back even better next year.
“Well, they’re just going to have to show up and see,” he said when asked what fans might look forward to for next year’s rodeo. “We have a lot of stuff planned next year to make it a lot more smoothly ran. I’m excited for people to come out next year and see the changes we made.”