ELKO — If you build a rodeo during a pandemic, they will come.
Due to COVID-19 cancelations across the world of rodeo, the talent of the Silver State Stampede has never shown brighter — and may never again.
Kicking off with mutton busting at 6 p.m. Friday, the 2020 edition will get underway.
Get to the Elko County Fairgrounds early, gates opening at 4 p.m. daily through Sunday.
- Everyone will pass a health screening at the front gate. Please try to arrive early so that this will not cause any delays. Gates will open at 4:00 p.m.
- Always wear a facial covering in public (children age 9 and younger are excluded). Contestants may only remove their facial covering to complete. Please bring your own facial covering or you will be given one to use.
- Always maintain a social distance of at least six feet from non-household members.
- Wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer between hand washings. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue.
- Do not sit or gather with non-household members or people you didn’t come with. There will be blocked off seating throughout the grandstands and we appreciate your cooperation in sitting where allowed.
At 7 p.m. Friday, the first of three Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performances will take place — loaded with big names, Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications, world champions, WNFR average titles and current No. 1 leaders in their respective events.
Friday’s performance alone will feature 90 WNFR qualifications, nine gold buckle winners and eight WNFR average crowns.
In the bareback riding, things will tip off with a local — the first ride of the night going to Ruby Valley native and Twin Falls, Idaho’s, Klancy Krenka.
He will be followed by eight-time WNFR qualifier Caleb Bennett and five-time back-number earner Richmond Champion.
Winnemucca’s Trenten Montero — who earned his first trip to the WNFR in 2019 — will ride ahead of one of the best, if not the best, in the history of the sport.
Kaycee Feild — the four-time champion of the world and four-time WNFR average champ from 2011 through 2014 — has shown a reemergence in recent years, currently ranking second in the world after his 2020 win at The American.
Tilden Hooper has made a December trip to Las Vegas for six WNFRs, and he will spur his boots off toward the end the event.
The first man out of the box for the bull dogging will be big Jacob Talley — a two-time WNFR qualifier — followed immediately by big Will Lummus, another man with a pair of WNFR trips under his belt.
In the middle of the perf, say hello to Nick Guy — who has seen six trips under the bright lights of Sin City.
Spectators can feast their eyes on the highly-anticipated mini bull riding of Landis’ Lil Bucks Bull Co.
That’s right, mini bull riding — not simply young beef animals — actual genetically-manufactured “mini” cattle.
The event features two age groups, one for 8 through 10 — the bulls not as rank — and the 11-13 division.
The stock for the older group bucks like big bulls.
Albeit not in his bread-and-butter event, Shad “Money” Mayfield will head in the team roping for Garret Busby.
Mayfield is No. 1 in the world in the calf roping by nearly a three-time gap over second place — a year after his 2019 dream season in which he won the Texas state high school title, the National High School Finals Rodeo crown and made his first WNFR — coming off a grand slam at The American.
He will rope his calf in the Friday slack following the performance and the Ring of Fear.
Jr. Dees — a one-time WNFR header — will hook opposite eight-time WNFR heeler Cody Cowden.
Six-time WNFR spin man Colby Lovell is set to bomb off for eight-time WNFR wheeler Paul Eaves, who earned his lone world championship in 2018 behind five-time WNFR header and back-to-back gold-buckle winner Clay Smith.
Old West Bronc Riding
Following the conclusion of the steer wrestling, buckle up — grab the rope strap — as one of the fan-favorite events of the Stampede rolls on with the Old West Broncs.
Cowboys will ride saddle bronc horses in everyday-working saddles, the riders allowed to rope-up — ride as, ride can.
Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill
Get on the edge of your seats.
Making his at the Stampede since 1998, the years have not knocked off all the antics and death-defying stunts of The Wild Child — so take in the Clown Act.
The classic event of rodeo, resembling a rocking-chair spurring motion when done correctly is loaded up with stars.
Chase Brooks — a two-time WNFR talent — will ride ahead of another man with a pair of trips to Vegas, in Jake Watson.
The young gun — the smiley-faced Dawson Hay — who lit up scoreboards and put the world on notice in December, will lift and scratch for all he’s worth in an attempt match his Round 6 win at his first WNFR.
From youth to experience, four-time WNFR qualifier Chet Johnson will look to prove he still has what it takes to ride with the best.
Three-time qualifier Tyler Corrington is hoping for a resurgence after a healthy drought of appearances at the Super Bowl of rodeo.
Cort Scheer — one of the best riders in the world when he’s healthy and on his game — vies for a Stampede win and his seventh trip to Vegas.
Closing the event, a pair of Paradise Valley talents — Luke Logan and Joe Harper — stare down the road toward making their first WNFRs, Harper currently ranking 22nd in the PRCA standings with the top-15 in the world getting their shots at 10-head apiece in Vegas.
After the tie-down roping, all fans — especially the kids — will love the exhibition of riding skills performed by the EhCapa Riders.
Known for their horsemanship skills, professionalism and dedication to perfection, the approximately 30 riders excite audiences with their fast-paced display of exquisite bareback and bridle-less riding, loping though tightly-timed and precise patterns, over jumps and, for some riders, without any rein whatsoever — riders ranging in age from 8 to 19 and performing in full show costume.
The fans should be thrilled for the barrel racing when 2017 world champion Nellie Miller turns the cans aboard her all-world horse “Sister,” as Miller attempts to replicate the runs necessary to make four WNFRs and claim a new average record at the 2017 WNFR.
The last woman on the day sheet has been there, done that.
Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi has made the WNFR 13 times, nailed down a pair of world championships (2007, 2009) and claimed two WNFR average races in consecutive seasons (2006, 2007) — currently No. 1 in the 2020 standings of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Standings and looking to stay there.
Pump up the jams, lock in the hooks, hang on for eight seconds and get the hell out of the way — bull riding.
It’s not a matter of if a bull rider get hurt during their careers, it’s how bad.
Luckily, there’s a trio of stellar bull stompers out of the chutes during Friday’s perf.
After a 2018 trip to the WNFR, Dustin Boquet missed out on a 2019 qualification — but he’s back — currently ranking No. 2 in the world as he looks for his second trek to Vegas as the first gunner of the night.
Utah’s Josh Frost made his appearance in the WNFR in 2019, and he will ride his bull in the middle of the Friday perf.
Toward the end of the evening, cheer on 2011 world champion and 2016 WNFR average champ Shane Proctor.
Ring of Fear
How bad do you need $500?
Bad enough to get in one of six circles and attempt to avoid a costly hospital trip that may be caused by a fighting bull?
The last person remaining in their circle takes home the prize money, the fans’ reactions and the bragging rights at the Cowboy Bar.
Speaking of the Cowboy Bar, the beverages will be served and a dance will take place during and after the conclusion of Friday’s slack performance of the rodeo — which should be dynamite.
The show isn’t over after the last bull ride of Friday’s perf.
Friday’s slack will without a doubt feature fast runs and some of the best competition in the history of the Stampede — including steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing.
In the slack, take in the chance to watch 127 WNFR qualifications, 14 world championships and 13 WNFR average titles.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!