A record 150 competitors from around Nevada will converge on McCullough Arena this weekend as the Nevada State High School Rodeo Association makes its annual stop in Pahrump.
But while the Pahrump Valley High School Rodeo Club has hosted a rodeo each year since the club was revived, there was no guarantee this year’s event would go on. It costs money to hold a rodeo, and club director Buddy Krebs said last fall $30,000 would be needed to ensure the rodeo, originally planned to coincide with canceled Pahrump Valley Days, would take place.
“I didn’t think we were going to raise the money,” said Krebs, who had been looking for sponsors since the fall. “We started getting some, but because of COVID nobody has any money.”
But, as usual, people who could help lined up to help, and Krebs is appreciative.
“With COVID, this has been a really tough year for raising money,” he said. “I want to thank Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and her son, John Wehrly; Nye County Commissioners Debra Strickland and Frank Carbone; Lloyd Peugh, our alternate director; Ski Censke, the auctioneer, who came on board and has been helping us a lot; and too many others to mention. I have to thank everybody in the community for stepping up and helping us raise money to make this high school rodeo happen.”
Three competitors this weekend will be on their home turf, with high schooler Garret Jepson and junior high schoolers Brandon Mountz and Jace Jepson representing the PVHS Rodeo Club. “All three should be going to nationals if they keep it up,” Krebs said.
Mountz, the defending junior high school state champion in bull riding, sits in third place in the standings this season. Jace Jepson will be entered in several events; he’s second in the state in junior high school saddle bronc riding, in a three-way tie for second in team roping, third in boys breakaway, seventh in goat tying and 10th in ribbon roping. That adds up to fifth place in the all-around standings.
Older brother Garrett Jepson also will be competing in multiple events. He sits sixth in the overall standings among high schoolers, and he’s fifth in tie-down roping and in a logjam at the top of the team roping standings.
The rodeo club will be holding an opportunity drawing to raise money Sunday. Tickets for that drawing are $10 apiece, although Krebs said anyone buying $100 worth of tickets will get an extra ticket for free. Prizes include an AR-15, a Henry .30-.30 and a 6.5 Creedmore.
Tickets for the rodeo are $10 per day and available at the gate. This is the first high school rodeo since November, as the Nevada State High School Rodeo Association traditionally takes a long break before and after the holidays. But there will be a full slate of rodeos heading into this year’s state championships.
After this weekend, there will be rodeos every two weeks, with Fernley, Alamo, Spanish Springs, White Pine, Humboldt and Wells taking turns as hosts before the May 27-30 state finals in Winnemucca. This year’s junior high school nationals will be June 20-26 in Des Moines, Iowa, and the high school nationals will be July 18-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska.