By: Lane Karney
Photography: Sam-Sin Photography
The cutting-edge addition of the Rafter 3C Arena—an indoor addition to the rebranded Churchill County Fairgrounds, which is now known as the Rafter 3C Complex in Fallon, Nevada—will cut its ribbon and swing its doors wide open in style when it hosts its premier event, the June 14-15 Battle Born Broncs presented by Skiver Bootmakers.
Battle Born Broncs will be sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as part of its Xtreme Broncs series. The event will feature professional rodeo’s top 30 bareback and saddle bronc riders in the world, as they light up Fallon and Churchill County, and ride for $50,000 in added prize money between the two events on their way to the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West in Reno.
Rodeo’s generation next will have the opportunity on June 14 to attend a PRCA Roughstock Rodeo Camp during the day, followed by a live band, welcome party and calcutta for the main event on June 15, which with $25,000 added per event will pay like a slot machine.
“As far as excitement levels, you can’t measure off the chart,”
Churchill County, which is deeply rooted in rural agriculture and the Western way of life, is no stranger to top professional rodeo athletes, most notably producing three-time World Champion Team Roper Jade Corkill, who’s a Fallon native. But on June 15, Fallon will be home to the very best bucking horse riders on the planet.
Battle Born Broncs is exactly the caliber of event the people behind renovating and rebranding the Rafter 3C Complex had in mind.
“As far as excitement levels, you can’t measure off the chart,” said Churchill County Manager Jim Barbee. “We were really focused on getting the building done, and in a way that we could recruit something special to get this type of kick-off for this facility. We couldn’t be more excited to be hosting the very best bronc riders in the nation in Churchill County and Fallon leading into the Reno Rodeo.
“We were hoping to be done with the arena in March, but delays and supply-chain issues pushed us to this point. I think it worked out, and created the perfect storm to bring this type of event to showcase the new Rafter 3C Arena.”
Bringing an event of this magnitude to Fallon aligns with the goals for what the Rafter 3C Arena and Complex intend to continue bringing to Churchill County. The vision to host events on this grand scale is what led to the renovation of the grounds, which includes the new, state-of-the-art indoor arena and plans to expand on additional acreage, with more parking, stalling and dry camping in the works.
“We are really focused on the acquisition of larger regional events, and creating an opportunity for new, large, regional events that will pull a draw from neighboring states like Idaho, California and Utah,” Barbee continued. “We recognized that there were larger events that were struggling in big cities, so there was an opportunity to cater to some larger regional events in our more rural setting. We wanted to become a venue for things that weren’t happening, or were struggling to happen in bigger cities. Our goal was to build a bigger facility that didn’t look governmental in nature, so we could compete for these bigger equine and livestock-related events.
“It’s cool to bring the best guys in the bareback and bronc riding out to the West Coast,”
“Our price points for using the facility are designed to generate money into the area and businesses, rather than just generating the money directly from event producers to rent the facility. We want to generate money for our area by bringing people in. We are really looking at folks coming in and filling up hotel rooms, buying from our Wal-Mart and eating out at our local restaurants to generate revenue for the county and for the businesses that reside in our city and county. We are looking at it, and coordinating closer to the ground than you see in other locations.”
Barbee has been an integral part of the project, and the best bucking horse riders in the business share his excitement of opening the Rafter 3C Arena doors to an action-packed night. Multiple world-class stock contractors will convene in Fallon with their very best stock to run under the very best riders. What do you get when you have superstar bucking horses and the very best bucking horse riders? Great watching and big scores!
“It’s cool to bring the best guys in the bareback and bronc riding out to the West Coast,” said 2019 World Champion Bareback Rider and California cowboy Clayton Biglow. “All the Riggin’ Rally events and others have been in Texas and more to the East. So I’m looking forward to bringing it out West. To have the best of the best in one spot, it’s like bringing a big NFR round to Fallon. With it taking place before the summer run, it fires me up to ride against the best guys on one night in one spot. Fallon, here we come!”