Rodeo stars have pregame, too

RENO - Every athlete has its own way of getting ready for competition.

Football players spend all week working themselves into a frenzy, and are off limits to the media on game day until after the game ends. You'll see them after the game chatting up former teammates or players whom they went up against that day as they leave the field.

Baseball players have limited dealings with the media prior to games, but usually have at least the final 40 to 50 minutes before first pitch to spend with their teammates. They chit-chat a little with the opposition.

Cowboys don't have a locker room, and they spend their pre-competition time chatting with their competitors and media alike while stretching their muscles out.

"I try to get here 90 minutes before I start," Andy Martinez said. "I'll stretch for 15 or 20 minutes. I run my hand in my rig to make sure it feels good. I go get taped (wrist and elbow). I tape the elbow so it doesn't get hyperextended.

"Before the horses come in, I try to get in the right mind. I try to get really warmed up and ready to go."

Martinez said the preparation time is less because the riders know how to ride, and also you just have to be ready for whatever the horse throws at you.

Veteran Larry Sandvick said that prep time hinges on whether you have any nagging injuries to deal with.

"You have to take care of parts that need to be fixed and kept together," he said. "When you get older, it takes more time.

"You have to be ready in as much time as you need to be. Sometimes that's 15 minutes. You inspect your equipment and stuff like that."


After an 85-point ride on Tuesday night, veteran Red Lemmel appeared a cinch to make Saturday's finals in saddle bronc riding.

After being granted a re-ride when Fancy Pants didn't perform as expected, Lemmel was dumped on his re-ride two seconds too early.

That's not an uncommon happening in this business, according to Chad Ferley.

"It happens everyday," Ferley said. "It's a day-to-day sport."


Sophia Ruedy may only be 6 years old, but she is plenty tough as evidenced by her performance in the Mutton Bustin.

Ruedy was almost sideways early on her ride, but hung on for dear life, and actually wrestled her sheep, Luckey Lady, to the ground.


You had to feel sorry for bull rider J.C. Bean.

His bull, Buster, started out fast and then came to a dead stop before he started bucking again.

Officials granted him a re-ride, and Bean concluded the evening's session by being bounced off his second ride.


The crowd was 8,640, and all the general admission tickets were sold ... There are less than 200 tickets left for Saturday's final performance ... Mike Alger, the Channel 2 weatherman, sang the national anthem and did a nice job... Alamo's Jake Wade, who bypassed Xtreme Bulls to ride in the college championships last week, was thrown off quickly from Paint Ball.

•Contact DarrellMoody at or 881-1281


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