The Lovelock Junior Rodeo attracts toddlers through teenagers. The PeeWees ride stick horses and drop potatoes in buckets. Older kids face more daunting challenges — like steer daubing and team roping.
Sandy Kiel and Laura Duncan organized the annual event, held at the rodeo grounds on Saturday, July 13. Trumpeter Noah Guilbart opened with the National Anthem. Rhea Fenner and Tyler Miller rode into the arena with flags held high.
In memory of Frank Myers, the kids tried something new this summer – calf riding. Frank’s son, JJ Myers, and Casey Kiel watched Rori Fenner, 7, ride the bucking animal.
“She loved it,” said Rori’s mom, Ann-Marie Fenner. “She was bummed she didn’t make it to six seconds, but she rode for a good four and had fun.”
Rori topped the six to nine-year-old girls in barrels, flag racing, pole bending and goat tying. Rodeo officials named Rori the all-around champion in her age group.
Rhea Fenner, 9, won reserve champ. She and Tommy Lee team roped in under 30 seconds (28.22).
For the six to nine-year old boys, Ben Marvel walked away with the all-around championship.
He rode the figure-eight in 11.25 seconds, finishing about one second ahead of his closest competitor, Ryan Houston (12.22). Stix Lee, the reserve champion, excelled in goat tying (18.94).
For the ten through 13-year-old girls, Corinna Sallingere made all around champion. Matti DeLong was reserve champ.
For the ten-13-year-old boys, Billy DeLong won the all around title. Cooper Hill earned the reserve championship.
The Junior Rodeo awarded buckles to the winner of each event. They highlighted the events in bold letters along with designs and artwork.
The rodeo’s most competitive riders included the seniors — Megan Cavallaro and Cheri VonsCopper came from Reno. Leeann McNeff represented Lovelock. The girls competed in barrels, breakaway, poles and goat tying.
The stakes were high for the seniors. They vied for jackpot money. The rider who finished first in each event would ride away with $45.
Cavallero rode the barrels in 19.345 seconds. McNeff finished a fraction of a second later (19.493). Because Cavellero also won the breakaway (10.81), she pocketed ninety dollars.
McNeff finished first in pole bending (23.01). VonsCopper was the goat tying champ (12.16).They each took home a forty-five dollar bonanza.
“It was a super cool rodeo, and well organized too,” said McNeff. “It ran very smoothly.”