RENO, NEVADA – After record ticket sales over 10 sell-out nights, the 103rd celebration of the Reno Rodeo is complete. The 2022 champions are heading home with their share of nearly $700,000 in winnings and the coveted Silver Spurs.
Plans are already underway for next year’s Reno Rodeo, set for June 15-24, 2023.
When the dust settled on the 2022 Reno Rodeo (June 25), there were some very happy rodeo contestants heading out of town. The rodeo marks the start of the busy summer rodeo season and winning here gives contestants momentum as they head into “Cowboy Christmas,” which includes all of the rodeos held over the Fourth-of-July holiday.
The best bareback ride of the week went to Chad Rutherford, Hillsboro, Texas, with an 88.5 on Rosser Rodeo’s Hold On 2 Me in the final round, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the win. That honor went to 2019 Reno Rodeo winner, Leighton Berry of Weatherford, Texas. He nabbed his second pair of Silver Spurs with an 88-point ride on Bridwell Pro Rodeo’s Girl Crush in the short go to end up with 256 points on three head. R.C. Landingham, Hat Creek, Calif., missed the win by just 0.5 points, ending his run in Reno with 255.5 in the average. Rutherford rounded out the leaderboard with 253 on three head.
A veteran bulldogger took home the Silver Spurs in front of the sold-out crowd. Mike McGinn, Haines, Ore., threw a blazing 3.5 second performance, earning the fastest throw of the night and fastest average with 12.1 seconds on three head. Timmy Sparing, Helena, Mont., took second place with 12.8 seconds on three while Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., rounded out the top with an average of 13.3 seconds.
Though they only ended up with the fourth best time in the short go, Aaron Tsinigine (header), Tuba City, Ariz., and Kyle Lockett (heeler), Visalia, Calif., ended up on top with 18.8 seconds on three head. This is their first Reno Rodeo win together, though Lockett won in 2006 and Tsinigine in 2018 and 2019. Tied for second place with 18.9 seconds on three head were Wyatt Imus (header) and Caleb Anderson (heeler), as well as Clay Tryan (header) and Jade Corkill (heeler). Brothers Riley and Brady Minor had the fastest time in the short go at 6.6 seconds, but that was only enough to get them fourth place in the average with a combined 19.6 on three.
After an exciting week of high-scoring rides the Reno Rodeo ended with two saddle bronc champions. With 261 points each on three head, the No. 1 saddle bronc rider in the world, Sage Newman, Melstone, Mont. shared the win with rookie Statler Wright, Beaver, Utah. Wright tied for first in the short go with a 90.5-point ride on Rosser Rodeo’s YETI Rambler while Newman scored an 89 on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Tunes. Just one point shy of the top spot, all-around winner, Stetson Dell Wright, Milford, Utah, wound up in third place with 260 on three head.
In tie-down roping, the 18-year-old rookie Riley Webb of Buffalo, Texas took the Reno Rodeo arena by storm, clocking a 7.8-second run in the finals to score an electric 25.7-second average on three head and secure the win. Entering Saturday night, he was leading the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings in tie-down roping and was 21st in world standings. The all-around champion from the Guymon, Okla. Pioneer Days Rodeo, Caleb Smidt, was close behind cashing in an average time of 27.4. Ranked No. 7 in the world, Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, La. earned his place on the leaderboard with an impressive average of 27.6.
It was only the second year for women’s breakaway roping as an official Reno Rodeo event and it did not disappoint. After nine nights, it was all Texans atop the leaderboard. Martha Angelone of Stephenville, Texas had the fastest run of the night with a lightning-quick 2.7-second run and was crowned Reno Rodeo breakaway champion with 8.2 on three. Danielle Lowman, Gilbert, Ariz., came in second with 8.5 on three and tying for third with 8.8 were Lari Dee Guy, Abilene, Texas and Taylor Hanchey, Carmine, Texas.
Fans saw some of the fastest turns around the barrels on Saturday night, starting with Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, and her 16.90-second run (the second-fastest of the week). She would soon be bested by Jordon Briggs, Tolar, Texas, and her 16.85-second run on the 2021 Nutrena Horse of the Year, Rollo. Though she would take third in the final round with a 17.05 turn, Michelle Darling’s consistently fast times put her ahead in the average with 51.37 on three head, just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Briggs who wound up in second place with 51.38 on three. Another fraction of a second behind was Megan McLeod-Sprague, Marshing, Idaho who took third with 51.39 on three. Hillman, the 2016 Reno Rodeo champion, ended up in fourth with 51.57.
Going into the finals bull rider Stetson Dell Wright was at the top of the leaderboard with the highest scoring ride of the week - 86.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Bringin Brother. That was until Creek Young, Rogersville, Mo., scored 88 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeos’ Louisana Lightning in the final round. That earned him a combined 172.5 points on two head and his first set of Silver Spurs. Coy Pollmeier, Fort Scott, Kans., ended the night in second place with 168.5 on two head. In third was Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash., who won the Reno Rodeo in 2011. He scored an 82.5 in the second go for a combined total of 165. The only other bull rider to get a qualifying ride in the short go was Trey Holston, Fort Scott, Kans., with 157.5 on two head. That put Wright in fifth with 86.5 on one head.
All-around cowboy: Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah, $21,723, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
Kyle Lockett heeled three steers for Aaron Tsinigine on their way to winning the team roping title in Reno. They not only won the coveted silver spurs that are given to the champions of each event but almost $13,000 each. – Fred Cornelius Photo
Texas resident Martha Angelone had a great run in Reno, winning over $6,000 for her breakaway roping talent. Her average time on three head was 8.2 seconds. – Fred Cornelius Photo
Michelle Darling won the three head barrel racing average in a time of 51.37 seconds barely edging out the current world champion, Jordon Briggs. Michelle also won the first round and placed in the short round to win over $13,000. – Fred Cornelius Photo