Reno Rodeo highlights best in sport |

Reno Rodeo highlights best in sport

Teri Vance
Appeal Staff Writer
Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal Carson City's Tye Fitzpatrick ropes the head of his steer during Wednesday's performance of the Reno Rodeo. His partner, Yose Campbell, of Stagecoach, roped the heels.

They’re known as weekend warriors. They have full-time jobs, but spend their weekends traveling to rodeos within their local circuits.

And, because of some restructuring in the bareback and saddle bronc competitions, there are fewer of them in this year’s Reno Rodeo at the Livestock Events Center.

The long round followed by a progressive qualifying round was replaced with two complete go rounds, limiting the number of participants who qualified, explained media consultant Susan Kanode.

“The ones who are here are the ones who are really trying to make a living at it,” she said. “If you’re coming to Reno, you’re pretty serious.”

That may be bad news for some would-be competitors, but, Kanode said, it’s good news for spectators.

“The Reno Rodeo has a tradition of being one of the biggest and best in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association,” she said. “The top athletes in the game compete here, and that makes a better show.”

Timed events, including roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling, are spread out in morning performances, known as slack, allowing for more contestants.

It gives local cowboys and cowgirls the chance to compete in a bigger rodeo than what they are used to and to do it in front of their friends and family.

“It’s got to be a huge thrill for them,” Kanode said. “The community here is behind the rodeo and when you ride in that arena, the fans are so excited.”

And there’s always a chance they’ll take home some money.

“It’s a good gamble, which is the old rodeo style,” said Steve Schroeder, director of communications for the Reno Rodeo. “See what you can win.”

Although the number of entrants who don’t rodeo for a living has dropped, the overall number rose from 735 last year to 743 this year.

In each event, except bull riding, contestants are given two opportunities, and their scores are combined. Bull riders compete only once.

The top-12 finishers from each event will compete in today’s final round to determine the 2006 Reno Rode champions.

• Contact reporter Teri Vance at or 881-1272.