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Taking Stock in Fallon's Western Heritage - "Battle Born Broncs" Documentary Premiers in Fallon

Taking Stock in Fallon's Western Heritage - "Battle Born Broncs" Documentary Premiers in Fallon
Clip of footage from “Battle Born Broncs” documentary.

If you are a fan of Fallon’s Xtreme Bronc riding event, Battle Born Broncs, then you will love the new film by the same name produced by Texas documentarian Tim Endsley, which premiered last Friday night, October 20, at the Barkley Theater at the Churchill County Arts Center. “Battle Born Broncs” gives viewers a firsthand, behind-the-scenes look at modern professional bronc riding.

Filmed in the style of the 1973 documentary, “The Great American Cowboy,” considered the greatest motion picture on the sport of the rodeo, Endsley's production transports viewers beyond the rodeo arena and into the heart and spirit of the American cowboy. Spending time with Darcie Spero and Ty Skiver of Skiver Bootmakers, who founded Battle Born Broncs and are deeply committed to promoting and preserving the Western lifestyle, Endsley quickly learned what makes the event unique.

One of Spero’s favorite parts of the event is the rodeo school for area youth, which Endsley filmed at length. Several cowboys arrive at Battle Born Broncs a few days early, sometimes forfeiting the chance to ride and win at other rodeos, to provide instruction, guidance, and support to young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to work with professional bronc riders. Students learn to respect the power of the animals they ride and practice safety in what some consider the world's most dangerous sport.
While the film focuses on the top-notch cowboys who compete, Endsley also managed stunning videography of the bucking horses that set apart this rough stock professional competition. These animals' sheer size, power, and athleticism are a sight. Just ask stock contractor John Franzen of Powder River Rodeo, who brings some of the finest bucking stock in the country to Fallon for the event. Horses like the infamous Two Buck Chuck can take a bronc rider from scratching for entry fees to the halls of NFR cowboy fame in a mere eight seconds. Endsley's filmmaking expertise leaves viewers conflicted:  Root for the cowboy or cheer on the 1,500 pounds or more of rank horseflesh dominating the screen? 

Besides bullfighting, bull and bronc riding presents a unique "man against beast" challenge that remains unparalleled in modern sports. But beyond that lies something even more profound. “Battle Born Broncs" offers a rare glimpse into the lesser-known cowboy landscape that exists only behind the bucking chutes. Here, on an otherwise unremarkable patch of dirt, lies sacred ground. Behind the chutes, rough stock riders are 100% alone in their thoughts as they prepare for their ride, yet they're surrounded by like-minded cowboys who understand that much more is at stake than seconds on the clock and a $10,000 purse. Amid the jokes and banter, taping and strapping, prayers ascending, a laser-sharp focus settles in as these riders prepare to pit their skills against the odds and animals several times their size. 

According to Vaughna Bendickson, one of the most amazing things about this film project is how it reminds us of our connection to our American heritage and the Western lifestyle. Spero’s parents, Kim and Vaughna Bendickson were instrumental in helping Battle Born Broncs off the ground. For many locals, Spero included, the Western lifestyle is more than a catchphrase or sprawling ranch-style house in Sunset Magazine. The Western lifestyle is about our future as much as our past, ensuring our children and grandchildren have the same opportunities to farm, ranch, ride, and rodeo.

Endsley's "Battle Born Broncs" documentary will surely capture the attention of many Americans, no matter where they reside. One does not have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to feel a solid connection to our nation’s history and the importance of the American West. For us Nevadans, the film is nothing short of a visual representation of the grit and gusto that makes the Silver State shine and home to the richest rodeos in the country.

At the premiere's conclusion, Spero expressed her gratitude to community members whose support and hard work make the Battle Born Broncs event special. She acknowledged Mayor Ken Tedford and the City of Fallon, Rafter 3C Arena, Events Complex Operations Deputy Jesse Segura, and Hunter Giovanetti with Desert Babe Boutique and Skiver Boots.

Spero also extended her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the numerous sponsors whose support is indispensable in making this event possible.
For those who missed the premiere, consult the Cowboy Channel’s schedule in November to see Tim Endsley’s “Battle Born Broncs.”

Pictured below:

Jesse Segura hosts Q&A with Wyatt Denny, three-time National Finals Rodeo bareback rider, along with Darcie Spero, Hunter Giovanetti, and Mayor Ken Tedford. Photo by Leanna Lehman.
Darcie Spero with Mom, Vaughna Bendickson. 
Jesse Segura, Hunter Giovanetti, and Mayor Tedford.
Fallon Junior Rodeo Queen Evva Brown.
 



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