ranch, the bronc riding helps keep
in spirit with the original cowboy
games from over one hundred years
ago. No snubbing to cars is involved
at the modern rodeo, but it takes the
same guts and determination to climb
on the broncs that fi ll the bucking
chutes. To add a little measure of fun,
the top fi ve ranch bronc riders from
the two-day competition participate
in a ride-off for a chance to win $500.
In its early days, the fourth of July
rodeo in McDermitt had a reputation
for being wild but has adapted into a
family-friendly event. On the fi rst day
of the event, the race track features
competition for the little cowboys
and girls including stick barrel racing
and dummy roping, and the rodeo
even includes 3 events for youth.
Board members donate the youths’
member is not required to participate.
The team roping and branding go
along with other typical ranch rodeos,
but the other events are different than
your average rodeo and each event
requires skill and timing.
In the big loop roping an 18-foot
loop is required. The cow is turned
out from a bucking chute, and the fun
offi cially begins. The fi rst cowboy/girl
must head the cow and the second
comes in for a heel shot. Precision is
the key in this event since there are
no second loops on either end, and
the headshot must catch the cow
clean around the neck to qualify. A
5-second penalty is given if only one
hind leg is caught.
The steer stopping event involves
one cowgirl, and a steer is loaded
in the roping chute. No barrier is
involved. When the steer is turned
out the cowgirl must head the steer,
dally to stop the steer, and time offi -
cially ends when the steer is facing
the horse. This steer stopping requires
that at least one woman must be
on the team, and the cowgirls get a
chance to show off their skills during
Although some ranch rodeos have
chosen to make bronc riding a separate
event, or eliminate it, McDermitt
chose to keep it as part of the main
event. Not only are unbroke horses
a large part of life on an everyday
entry fees back and even add $100 to
the pot to make the grand prize quite
the trophy. Youth teams include two
adults and two youth (only one of
which can be 16).
With a famous “ride-up” concession,
covered grandstands, street activities
and even a dance, the event brings in
quite the crowd of onlookers in addition
to the contestants themselves.
Buckles are awarded to the fi rst-place
team in all of the events, and cash prizes
are given to the High Point Teams.
Remaining true to the early days
of the rodeo, a horse race is the
fi nal event to fi nish off the fun. The
ranching community of McDermitt,
Nevada knows how to throw a good,
old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration.
Stop by and check them out the
next time you are in the area!
30 I WORKING RANCH I JUNE / JULY 2020