One night at the Reno Rodeo
It was clear, hot and dry in the 90 degree Reno weather. The smell of cattle and horses lingered in the air. The sounds of kids and teens riding on the rides in the fairgrounds were deafening. There were crowds of people buying BBQ food or purchasing beers or Jack Daniels mixed drinks to quench their appetite and thirst. Local country stations had booths set up around Livestock Events Center grounds and were doing live broadcasts about the upcoming rodeo.
It was June 19 and it was the opening night of the 89th annual Reno Rodeo. Tonight we, and several hundred other people, were there to watch the Xtreme Bulls. Forty cowboys and 40 bulls. You could feel the excitement in the air.
We had general admission tickets and lucky for us, there was only one grandstand that was reserved. For anyone who has been to the rodeo before, you know that general admission seats are usually facing the blinding sun and is hotter than the hinges of hell.
The rodeo opened with the women's flag team coming out with all the sponsors' flags and the American flag following. The announcer played “I'm proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood and the crowd sang along. As we got ready for the national anthem, we waited for the U.S. Air force to do their flyby (usually jets). Unfortunately, communications were ceased minutes before and rodeo personnel couldn't make contact.
The rodeo got started and the anticipation hung thick in the air. It didn't take very long until cowboys were reaching the eight second mark to make it to the qualifying round. However, for some cowboys, no matter how hard they tried to hold on, the bulls were able to fling them off. There were a couple of cowboys who got hurt but luckily they are OK.
The rodeo went for about three-and-a-half hours and there was never a dull moment. After the 40 competitors went, there was the Mutton Bustin' event, where children under 7 years old rode a sheep for as long as they could. After Mutton Bustin', the top 12 competitors from the 40 bulls competed against each other for a grand prize of $40,000.
The rodeo is a nice event to go to with the family. On every other evening, there are 12 events that cowboys and cowgirls compete in for cash prizes. Each year is never the same and everyone from 4 years old to 100 years old will enjoy the anticipation and thrill the rodeo brings to the Reno area every year.