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PRCA For The Record: Reno

by Matt Naber | Jun 21, 2019

PRCA Media Coordinator

With a record book a century in the making, the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo is celebrating its 100th year of rodeo competition, and cowboys are eager to leave their mark by setting a Reno record while earning their share of the prize money at what has been heralded as the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.”

The event was originally known as the Nevada Round-Up in 1919, a community celebration led by the Commercial Club, the precursor to the Reno Chamber of Commerce. The initial goal was to create a volunteer-driven event to attract the top cowboys and cowgirls in professional rodeo, while also bringing tourists to the area.

A century later, it’s safe to say they surpassed that goal.

While many world champions have competed in Reno, only the best have set a record, and none have lasted as long as steer wrestler Walt Linderman’s 3.1-second run made in 1963. 

The Linderman family in Montana was well known for being top-tier contenders in professional rodeo, and Walt continued the family tradition. He was a multi-event cowboy for several years but bulldogging is where the Big Sky Country cowboy truly shined. He made nine trips to the National Finals Rodeo for steer wrestling (1962, 1965-71 and 1973). 

Linderman’s horse Scottie was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2016 for carrying three cowboys to four world championships – Harley May (1965), Jack Roddy (1966 and 1968) and John W. Jones Sr. (1970). Linderman placed second in the NFR average three times aboard Scottie. 

Linderman paid $1,600 for Scottie in 1964, and it’s been estimated that $2 million was won on Scottie during a streak of nine consecutive NFR appearances with no fewer than five – and as many as eight – of the 15 finalists riding the horse each year. 

Competing in bareback riding, steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding allowed Linderman to rack up wins at a number of rodeos, including:
• Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days (1966)
• The Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont. (1968)
• The Livingston (Mont.) Roundup (1960, 1962, 1967)
• The St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo (1970)
• The Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede (1965, 1972)
• The Redding (Calif.) Rodeo (1968-69)
• The Cody (Wyo) Stampede (1961) 
• The Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up (1969)
• The Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up (1970)

Cowboys will have their chance to top Linderman’s 56-year-old, Reno record while racking up ProRodeo Tour points June 21-29, but odds are good the Reno bull riding record will remain intact. 

A 95-point bull ride is a rare sight – but not in Reno, where three cowboys have done it to set the arena record. Clint Branger made a 95-pointer on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Yellow Jacket in 1997, Shane Drury did it in 2001 on Big Bend Rodeo Company’s Riverdance and Myron Duarte did it on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Border Patrol in 2002.

Rodeo records

Total payout: $547,065, 2002
All-around: $15,659, Trevor Brazile, 2003
Bareback riding: 90 points, Larry Sandvick, 1998; Royce Ford, 2005
Steer wrestling: 3.1 seconds, Walt Linderman, 1963 (12.0/3, Gabe Ledoux, 2010)
Team roping: 4.0 seconds, Colter Todd/Cesar de la Cruz, 2008; Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 2016 (15.9/3, Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 2013)
Saddle bronc riding: 91 points, Jesse Kruse, 2008; Cody Wright, 2009
Tie-down roping: 7.2 seconds, Scott Kormos, 2013 (24.3/3, Clint Cooper, 2013)
Barrel racing:  16.73 seconds, Terri Kaye Kirkland, 2006 (51.11/3, Mary Burger, 2008; Lindsay Sears, 2009)
Bull riding: 95 points, Clint Branger, 1997; Shane Drury, 2001; Myron Duarte, 2002

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