Truckee Championship Rodeo braves storm at 30th event |

Truckee Championship Rodeo braves storm at 30th event

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra SunA brief hail storm did not deter competitors like this bull rider on Sunday at McIver Arena in Truckee.

Nearly 150 participants celebrated the Truckee Championship Rodeo’s 30th year over the weekend.

The event, held at McIver Arena, was sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and featured about 150 of the top competitors from the PRCA’s California Circuit.

Carol Pauli, the co-chair of the TCR, said the event was successful despite an unseasonable surprise from mother nature on Sunday.

“It hailed like crazy and shut down the rodeo for about 15 minutes,” Pauli said. She also said about one-third to one-half of the crowd left after the short, but powerful storm, but she was surprised by the number of spectators that stuck it out.

For the competitors, there was no choice but to tough it out and get dirty.

“It does (effect them) because they get psyched up to ride, and then it gets delayed,” Pauli said. “The ground was muddy, so it makes the animal perform differently ” not better or worse, just differently.”

Competition occurred in bareback, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Descriptions of the events and results follow below. Look for a pictorial of the rodeo in the Aug. 20 print edition of the Sierra Sun.

– Bareback riding

Bareback riders endure more abuse, suffer more injuries and carry away more long-term damage than all other rodeo cowboys. To stay aboard the horse, a bareback rider uses a rigging made of leather, which resembles a suitcase handle on a strap. A bareback rider is judged on his spurring technique, the degree to which his toes remain turned out while he is spurring and his willingness to handle the unpredictability of the ride.

– Steer wrestling

Steer wrestling is the quickest event in rodeo. The objective of the steer wrestler, also known as a “bulldogger,” is to use strength and technique to wrestle a steer to the ground as quickly as possible. The steer generally weighs more than twice as much as the cowboy and, at the time the two come together, they’re both often traveling at 30 miles per hour. The steer gets a head start that is determined by the size of the arena. To catch the sprinting steer, the cowboy uses a “hazer,” who is another mounted cowboy who gallops his horse along the right side of the steer and keeps it from veering away from the bulldogger.

– Team roping

Team roping, the only true team event in Pro Rodeo, requires close cooperation and timing between two highly skilled ropers ” a header and a heeler ” and their horses. The steer gets a head start determined by the length of the arena. The header ropes first and must make one of three legal catches on the steer ” around both horns, around one horn and the head or around the neck. After the header makes his catch, he turns the steer to the left and exposes the steer’s hind legs to the heeler. The heeler then attempts to rope both hind legs. After the cowboys catch the steer, the clock is stopped when there is no slack in their ropes and their horses face one another.

– Saddle bronc riding

Saddle bronc riding evolved from the task of breaking and training horses to work the cattle ranches of the Old West. The cowboy’s objective is a fluid ride, somewhat in contrast to the wilder and less-controlled rides of bareback riders. While a bareback rider has a rigging to hold onto, the saddle bronc rider has only a thick rein attached to his horse’s halter. Using one hand, the cowboy tries to stay securely seated in his saddle. If he touches any part of the horse or his own body with his free hand, he is disqualified. Judges score the horse’s bucking action, the cowboy’s control of the horse and the cowboy’s spurring action. To score well, the rider must maintain that action throughout the eight-second ride.

– Tie-down roping

In tie-down, the mounted cowboy starts from a box, a three-sided fenced area adjacent to the chute holding the calf. The fourth side of the box opens into the arena. The calf receives a head start that is determined by the length of the arena. The horse is trained to come to a stop as soon as the cowboy throws his loop and catches the calf. The cowboy then dismounts, sprints to the calf and throws it by hand, a maneuver called flanking. After the calf is flanked, the roper ties any three legs together with a pigging string ” a short, looped rope he clenches in his teeth during the run. When the roper finishes tying the calf, he throws his hands in the air as a signal that the run is completed. The roper then remounts his horse, rides forward to create slack in the rope and waits six seconds to see if the calf remains tied. If the calf kicks free, the roper receives no time.

– Barrel racing

Barrel racing has no judges, so time is the determining factor. The horse is ridden as quickly as possible around a cloverleaf course of three barrels. At the end of the performance, after all of the racers have finished their runs, the clock is the one and only judge. The slightest hesitation can prove costly, as the event is clocked in hundredths of a second.

– Bull riding

Bull riding is performed on the back of a 2,000-pound bull, and the risks are obvious. Serious injury is always a possibility for those fearless enough to sit astride an animal that literally weighs a ton and is usually equipped with dangerous horns. Like bareback and saddle bronc riders, the bull rider may use only one hand to stay aboard during the eight-second ride. Bull riders are not required to mark out their animals and are commonly judged solely on their ability to stay aboard the twisting, bucking mass of muscle.

To stay aboard the bull, a rider grasps a flat braided rope, which is wrapped around the bull’s chest just behind the front legs and over its withers. Every bull is unique in its bucking habits. A bull may dart to the left, then to the right, then rear back. Some spin or continuously circle in one spot in the arena. Others add jumps or kicks to their spins, while others might jump and kick in a straight line or move side to side while bucking.

[Excerpts of event descriptions were taken from For more detailed descriptions, visit and scroll down the left side of the page to “Event Descriptions” under “Rodeo Community.”]

(Aug. 14-15, McIver Arena, Truckee, Calif.)



1ST–Tyson Thompson–79–$421.68

2ND–Alex Meroshnekoff–76–$541.26

3RD–Jimmy Centoni–68–$360.84

4th–David Olson–59–$180.42



1ST–Ross Wines–75–$814.80

2ND–Clayton Price–73–$611.10

t-3RD–Nick LaDuke–70–$203.70

t-3RD–John Flook–70–$203.70

t-3RD–Max Filippini–70 –$203.70



1st–Bill Spaletta–8–$1017.92

2nd–Evan Matthews–80–$663.19

2nd–Dominic Gabiola–80–$663.19

3rd–James Miyagishima–74–$293.03

3rd–Dwayne Hargo–74–$293.03

4th–Chism Wagner–73–$77.12

4th–Jason Hamby–73–$77.12



1st–Jesse Egan–10.4–$1086.40

2nd–Rob Dugo–10.9–$814.80

3rd–Troy Murray–11.3–$543.20

4th–Clint Cooper–11.5–$271.60



1st–Rhett Kennedy–5.0–$911.80

2nd–Tyler Holzum–5.4–$683.85

3rd–Mike George–5.5–$455.90

4th–Chad Weaver–7.3–$227.95



1st–Jim Hansen, Rhett Kennedy–6.2–$756.60

2nd–Walt Rodman, Russ Rodman–7.0–$567.45

3rd–Troy Murray, Leo Camarillo–7.6–$378.30

4th–Steve Smith Jr., Tarek Goddard–7.9–$189.15



1st–Lita Scott–17.53–$470.30

2nd–Jodi Gould–17.99–$408.96

3rd–Candace Zappetini–18.08–$347.62

4th–Lyndee Stairs–18.16–$286.27

5th–Kelleigh Hansen–18.36–$224.93

6th–Shelley Holman–18.46–$163.58

7th–Carie Olson–18.48–$102.24

8th–Heather Coombs–19.39–$40.90

*Earnings unofficial

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User