Ranch Hand Rodeo rides again | NevadaAppeal.com

Ranch Hand Rodeo rides again

Steve Puterski
Cowboys beat the clock in "branding" at the 2014 Ranch Hand Rodeo.

Rodeo is a long-standing tradition in Fallon.

And this weekend, it continues with the sixth annual Ranch Hand Rodeo at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.

Organized by Rich Allegre, the three-day event kicks off today at 6 p.m. with children’s event highlighted by the popular mutton bustin’. In addition, the future cowboys and cowgirls will compete in a boots scramble and goat branding.

Saturday features two performances beginning at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with working ranch horse event sandwiched in at 1 p.m. Saturday’s rodeo also includes branding in the evening.

Sunday’s finale begins at 7 a.m. with Cowboy Church followed by the final performance at 8 a.m. and a working dog demonstration in the afternoon.

Admission is $5 for Friday and Sunday and $7 for Saturday as patrons are allowed entry to both performances.

“It’s just good old-fashion Western tradition,” he said. “It’s practices that people do on ranches throughout the state. It’s a family-oriented thing.”

The Ranch Hand Rodeo began in 2010 when Allegre opted to start the event. Starting with humble roots, the rodeo, which is unlike a traditional rodeo, secured just 10 teams in the inaugural year.

Steadily, however, the event has grown with a high of 18 teams in 2011 and 17 this year.

“My daughter asked me to do this rodeo back in 2010 so I did,” Allegre said. “It goes up and down.”

One challenge, though, has been competing with other cities throughout the state. For instance, a bull-riding event in Carson City has drawn numerous competitors who may have opted for the Fallon rodeo.

Another challenge is the cost of renting cattle, which isn’t cheap, combined this year with a shortage therefore creating additional obstacles in landing the animals.

Nevertheless, Allegre said there is room to grow and is thankful for the support from the city of Fallon, Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, Churchill County commissioners and donations from local businesses.

“The response has been really good,” he added. “I need a little help this year. I’m just thankful for the donations.”

In the end, though, Allegre said the event is about providing a cheap, family-oriented atmosphere honoring those who work as ranch hands.

“I think it can get bigger, but it’s getting tougher,” Allegre said.