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Home > About > History > Countdown to 100 > August 2018

August 2018

Longtime rodeo clown Joaquin Sanchez acknowledges the cheers of the crowd at the 1963 grand entry. Reno Gazette Journal photo.
Longtime rodeo clown Joaquin Sanchez acknowledges the cheers of the crowd at the 1963 grand entry. Reno Gazette Journal photo. 

In 1964, Jack T. Walther was president of the Reno Rodeo Association, which unveiled a new 3000-seat grandstands built to replace those destroyed in the 1962 fire. Carolyn Leino, the rode queen for m 1963 cut a ribbon during a special ceremony held to celebrate the opening of the $108,000 grandstand.

Wooster High student Jeannie Harris was the rodeo queen and the Christensen Brothers were the stock contractor for the second consecutive year. Attendance was much better at the rodeo with 15,000 people attending the three-day event. For the third straight year, a rainstorm and power outage impacted opening night.

A highlight of Saturday afternoon’s performance was the Pony Express ride by the Washoe Horseman’s Junior Club which brought a letter bearing greetings to rodeo fans from Governor Grant Sawyer in Carson City. The 30-mile ride took riders about 2 two hours from Carson City.

The 1965 event attracted numerous world champions, including two-time all-around and six-time calf roping champion Dean Oliver. The two reigning champion is saddle bronc and bareback – Enoch Walker and Jim Houston – also came to compete as did two-time steer wrestling champion Harley May.

The Reno Rodeo Association, with George Southworth as president, said the 1965 rodeo would be “one of the best in history.” Judy Holt was the rodeo queen. Cotton Rosser and the Flying U Rodeo Company returned as the stock contractor and Johnny Jackson of Woodlake, California, was the announcer. The clowns were perennial favorites Joaquin Sanchez and Wilbur Plaugher.

A Sunday crowd of 5,000 saw Hall of Fame roper Jim Rodriquez, Jr., of California win the all-around championship. He teamed with Ken Luman to win the team roping.Ronnie Raymond rode a horse named “Royal Taboo” to the saddle bronc championship, edging Reno’s Lyle Smith by a single point. The bull riding was also close with Bob Sheppard and Larry Mahan tying for first place, each with a score of 67.

The stories for the Count Down to 100 are excerpts from “A History – The First 80 Years” by Guy Clifton.

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