More than 400 in Silver State Rodeo
By STEVE RANSON
The Silver State International Rodeo office does not resemble a sea of tranquility this week.
“Insane,” is how Marcia de Braga, the SSIR’s executive secretary, described registration as more than 400 contestants signed up for the 20th annual rodeo slated for July 4-9.
Although the actual events don’t begin until Tuesday, this year’s Fourth of July parade officially kicks off the SSIR.
With the completion of many state high school rodeos this past weekend, de Braga said the office is swamped with applications, and she figures the number could push the total number of participants to 450, even 500.
“We’re well over 400 and still getting them,” said de Braga, referring to the application process.
The SSIR invites high school rodeo contestants who finished fifth through 10th in their respective state rodeos. The top four in each event advance to the National High School Rodeo Association’s finals in mid-July in Gillette, Wyo.
“This year could exceed later than in past years,” de Braga said, explaining the later start of the SSIR may be attracting more contestants.
In reviewing the applicants, de Braga said she has contestants coming from 18 states and Canadian provinces, and some contestants are coming from as far away as Pennsylvania, North and South Dakota and Iowa.
Some delegations have beefed up their number of contestants.
“Some states are bigger than they have been in previous years,” said de Braga.
She cited Arizona, which is sending a bigger team to the SSIR, and Alberta, Canada, is also sending its largest team to date.
Nevada will be sending 60 cowboys and cowgirls to the SSIR, thus making the contestants from the Silver State one of the largest teams in the rodeo.
According to de Braga, most of the contestants will be arriving in the area this weekend. Already, de Braga said the motels in Fallon are fully booked for the SSIR.
Utah, the defending SSIR team champ for the past five years, always sends a large team. She said Utah has one of the largest state associations in the country. The Beehive State always places in the top five at the national rodeo.
With Monday being a light day, de Braga said the states will prepare floats for the parade, and the queen contestants have a meeting later in the day for orientation.
The first rodeo event begins Tuesday morning and ends the week with the Top 15 Saturday evening. Cutting will be held at the Shepard Arena.
The crowning of the new queen takes place Friday evening. Ten contestants will be competing for the tiara.