89th Reno Rodeo Kicks Off with "Extreme Bulls" - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

89th Reno Rodeo Kicks Off with "Extreme Bulls"

Jen Jackson/Rebecca Bessler
Channel 2 News

The 2008 Reno Rodeo kicked off Thursday evening, after the Cattle Drive trotted into Reno, the heart-pounding "Extreme Bulls" event and a huge carnival filled with hundreds of people at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

"It's a good rodeo," says Julian Smith of Los Angeles. "It's one of the biggest. I've been coming here since I was a little kid, the Reno Rodeo."

Called the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West, this is the Reno Rodeo's 89th year. Locals are the biggest supporters; organizers say 95% of the fans drive less than 100 miles to cheer on the cowboys.

"I just think it's great for Nevada," says Deborah Johnson of Reno. "I just love it. It's what Nevada is, good cowboys."

It's all about the bull riding on the 1st night of the rodeo. Nearly 3 hours of the meanest and toughest bulls in the country are featured in "Extreme Bulls."

"They're very docile in the chutes," says Steve Schroeder of the Reno Rodeo. "As soon as you lead them in, it's like a police dog, hear the crowd, they know their job is to, in the next 8 seconds, buck off a cowboy."

"(We) like the bull riding," say Sarah and Silke Rowbam, both of Washoe Valley. "It's really fun to watch. Sometimes I like to see the little kids ride those sheep. Those are fun, too."

Every fan has their own opinion about what the best part of the rodeo is, and no matter what that is, it keeps them coming back.

"Friends and having a good time," says Katherine Schmitt of Sparks. "Watching these boys do what they do. I mean, they risk their lives pretty much every night to do what they do, and that's awesome.

The cowboys and cowgirls compete for a living, though it's more of a contest for the animals.

"Usually the cowboy loses," Schroeder says.

The Reno Rodeo will run for the next nine nights, through Saturday, June 28th.

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