Bareback bronc riding is one of the three rough stock events out at the rodeo.The other two events are saddle bronc, and bull riding.
Bareback riding is popular with the fans, but because of a myriad of reason, its not as popular with rough stock riders. We talked to stock contractor Cotton Rosser, a former rodeo man himself, who says he's not surprised about the shortage of bareback riders.
“Billy Etbauer, 40 years old, still winning world's championship, what a man. Now he's 40 years old and still riding saddle bronc, see , the broncs don't hurt you, you don't see many 40 year old bareback riders,” says Rosser
It's the first event to literally jump out of the shoot-- Bareback Bronc Riding.
Dustin Mulrony has been doing it most of his life, he says there's a reason he hasn't sustained serious injury.
“If you ride correctly hopefully you won't be sore. I mean there are some horses that are going to sore you up no matter how you ride for the most part. I think I can get by without being hurt,” says Mulrony
Dustin says he hasn't really noticed a shortage of bareback bronc riders. But according to the PRCA its happening right now. The problem is significant enough to where the organization offers classes to those who are interested in getting into the sport. But its a sport that has changed significantly over the years.
“They've got their arms, they are like a claw and they get it all wrapped up and they put their hand in the riggin' and you can buck em off but you can't buck their hand out of the riggin' and they are bucked so hard, its so hard on their shoulder and arms, bareback riders can't stand that much yanking on their arms,” says Rosser.
Bull riding seems to garner the most attention, but those in the know say its bareback riding that takes the biggest toll on bodies. And there's another reason there are fewer bareback riders at the professional level of the Reno Rodeo, Those limited amount of riders have to come up through the ranks and place before getting here, and that's a mistake says PRCA judge Allan Jordan.
“I'm for you know, let them all come. I really am because I remember back when I was riding, you know, kids would win bareback and bull riding, didn't know who they were. Now you barely see young kids at a rodeo like this,” says Jordan.