Smackdown Rodeo bucks through Tonopah

Dozens gathered in Nye County’s mid-July summer heat to enjoy the three-day event filled with bull riding, bucking horses and ATV action at the Tonopah Rodeo Grounds.

The third annual Smackdown Bull Riding and ATV Rodeo made its way through town July 14-16, featuring pro-bull riding, team roping and other forms of entertainment. This year’s event added an additional day of entertainment.

Rodeo organizer Manuel Souza said he added the extra day after sponsors, who were looking to gain more revenue from people staying an extra night in Tonopah, had suggested it.

But business was just one part of it for Souza. He also wanted to offer more for kids, and there wasn’t enough time to fit everything into the event that only went on for one day, he added.

During this year’s event, kids enjoyed many forms of fun: mutton busting, calf riding and other offerings.

The events began on July 14 with a street dance from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The main events were July 15 at 6 p.m. and July 16, which got started in the afternoon at 2 p.m.

Tickets were $10 for the people who bought them early and $15 at the gate.

Attendees are attracted to the annual event from many parts of the West, as Souza advertises at many other rodeos he puts on throughout the year. He puts on shows in Carson City, Lovelock and Winnemucca, along with southern Oregon and other areas.

Souza suggested that he could start working with local officials in Pahrump, but there is nothing in process at this point.

Souza works to advertise his event through a grant from the Town of Tonopah.

In 2017, he received a $4,650 room tax grant, which was lower than the $6,000 room tax grant he received in 2016.

The event had more than two dozen sponsors, including Jim Marsh Automotive, the Tonopah Liquor Co., Round Mountain Gold and others.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at On Twitter: @pvtimes

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