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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 12:45 PM

Battle Born Broncs 2024 – Trough Broncs and Tougher Cowboys

For the third running, Battle Born Broncs has solidified its reputation as a gathering spot for some of America's elite bronc riders. The annual Bronc Riding competition, held at the 3C Event Complex in Fallon on June 18, is a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) sanctioned competition that was televised on the Cowboy Channel and the Cowboy Channel+ App to over 8.3 million viewers.
Battle Born Broncs 2024 – Trough Broncs and Tougher Cowboys
Battle Born Broncs bareback rider by Hailey Rae Photography.

Darcie Spero, the founder of Battle Born Broncs, has been instrumental in making this event a highlight of Fallon's summer activities and one of the area’s favorite 3C events. Spero cherishes the Rough Stock Rodeo Camp, which kicked off on Monday morning for children aged seven and above.

The camp is an integral part of the event, where seasoned bronc riders share their knowledge with the younger generation. This unique training school allows young participants to immerse themselves in the fundamentals of bareback and saddle bronc riding. Weston Timberman and Tayor Broussard participated in schools when they were younger, testifying to the importance of rodeo schools for young cowboys starting in the sport.

Brody Wells, a saddle bronc rider from Powell, Wyoming, shared the role rodeo schools played in his early development as a rider, stating, “It helps a lot being able to have those guys calm you down and talk you through things, to get on.” Wells, who has been riding for nearly seven years and scored an impressive 85.5 at the event, is now competing against veteran riders who helped him learn the basics and hone some of the skills he now employs as a bronc rider.

The event also featured a Western Market where vendors displayed an array of cowboy goods. Among them was Jeri Fry, owner of My Gypsy Soul, known for her handmade, genuine leather, western-themed handbags. Other vendors offered tack, western and silver jewelry and accessories, clothing, and more. In contrast, the Food Truck Roundup offered various local foods, beverages, and libations, adding to the event’s many offerings. 

Taking to the arena for a stunning trick riding performance was 21-year-old Madison Schalla, from Arapaho, Oklahoma, much to the crowd's delight. Also in attendance was Fallon’s own Macady Bogdanowicz, former Junior Rodeo Queen and current reigning queen for Wells Junior Rodeo, who has learned from Schalla. Macady says she hopes to be Miss Rodeo America someday and a professional trick rider like her new mentor.

Speaking of rodeo queens, some actual rodeo royalty were also in attendance – Nevada High School Rodeo Queen Kashlin Hill and Miss Rodeo Universe Kaili Hill. These Reno sisters made a glamorous duo impossible to miss. Kaili, who attended Reno High School, is close to finishing her degree in Business Administration, but for now, she is focusing on representing the sport of rodeo across the nation.

The competition was fierce, with high-caliber stock provided by King Rodeo, Wentz Bucking Bulls, Burch Rodeo, and Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics. This year's event saw remarkable performances, with only a few riders failing to complete their rides.

Wyatt Casper, from Miami, Texas, and Kade Bruno, from Challis, Idaho, have been riding for about six and ten years, respectively, and have seen their fair share of quality bucking horses. The two observed that there were not a lot of flags where the cowboys missed their mark in the chute. “There were a lot of really good rides,” said Casper. With so many high-ranking riders, it appeared to be a challenging night for riders to outscore each other, so much so that the Saddle Bronc Riding yielded a four-way tie for third place. 

Taking the lead in the Bareback Riding was Weston Timberman, who scored an impressive 88 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics' horse, “Mustard,” earning Timberman a quick $7,840. According to Battle Born Broncs officials, this was the third year a rookie has won the Bareback Riding. Taylor Broussard was second behind Timberman, scoring 87.5 points for $6,010. Following Broussard was Cole Franks with 86.5 points for $4,442.

Sage Newman won the Saddle Bronc Riding, earning 87.5 points on “Pendleton Roundup,” also a Sankey/Phenom horse, and walked away with $8,009. Newman, who hails from Milltown, Montana, has been riding for around ten years, “It’s all about the horse,” said Newman, who agreed Pendleton Roundup made him look pretty good. Wade Jay Stansfield was close behind, scoring an 87 for $6,140, followed by a four-way tie between Kade Bruno, Wyatt Casper, Mitch Pollock, and Brody Wells, all scoring 85.5 points. 

The total payoff this year was $52,828, making it an event riders like to attend and one of Northern Nevada’s premier rodeos.