New to the BV Fair
A new event is about to become bullish on the Fair. The Rockin' R Rodeo will be a new feature for the Buena Vista County Fair, offering fun, comedy and action. This event will be held Thursday, July 21 at 7 p.m. The rodeo is a late change in plans, replacing the stock car races that had been planned and printed in fair schedules.
The Rockin' R Rodeo is made up three generations of the Paul and Nancy Reiling family, which has deep roots in the Lake View area. Paul's dad raised cattle on his ranch down the road. They have taken that interest a step farther and are now in to rodeoing with bucking bulls.
His sons Will, Josh and Eric are responsible.
"They wanted to learn how to ride bulls," Paul said, adding when Will graduated from high school he asked that there be no traditional celebration - he wanted a rodeo. And so his parents granted his wish, and their show skills have grown steadily since.
You might say they have taken the idea by the horns and ran with it.
The family has been offering rodeos at the arena located on their farm for about 10 years.
They have taken the show on the road for the past six years.
The Rockin' R Rodeo becomes quite popular during fair season and traveling is extensive. A two-hour show is presented.
"People like the action of the show," he said, adding that comedy is also thrown in to break things up. For me, I enjoy meeting the people at the shows."
In the beginning, "any kind of bull available" was used. Today, they feature Braham and Watusi breeds which are bred for bucking. The Reiling's purchase most of their stock; they also raise a few of their own.
"People have the mis-conception that the mean ones are the best. That is not so. Our best bulls are gentle and will eat out of our hands."
The Grandstand show will offer those in attendance the chance to see junior and senior barrel racing and junior and senior bull riding. A special part of the show will feature the miniature bucking bulls. Full grown, these animals measure only 42".
"We always try to get the little ones (kids) involved and these miniature bucking bulls are great for them to ride," he said. The miniature bulls are not owned by the Rockin' R Rodeo but draw attention to the show.
In addition to traveling with the rodeo, the Reiling's offer bull riding classes. In the beginning, participants as young as 3 years and up to age 40 something took part. The youngest riders weren't placed atop the bucking bulls, but placed on bottle calves as tame as dogs.
What is it about bull riding that interests so many?
"It's the adrenaline rush and the challenge," Paul said.
Traveling with the rodeo are several of those that learned to ride at his farm. They are spread out - residing in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and even Missouri - but will gather to give the best show they possibly can. Some 40-50 riders will take part during the two hours.
Paul admitted he enjoys preparing the animals and riders but as for himself, he only jumps atop a bull once a year. "Only on Father's Day. That's my gift to my family," he commented. "And I may be getting too old for that."
He never thought of running the show with bucking broncs - it's always been bulls that the family has been interested in.
"There aren't many horse riders and the vast majority of people want to ride bulls. For me, I believe bulls are easier to handle."
Besides Paul and his three sons operating the show, his wife Nancy and three daughters-in-law - Sherry, Jen and Rachel get involved by taking care of the books. The grandchildren also get to be a part of the team effort by taking part in the rides or video-taping the performances.
"I can't foresee an ending," Paul said of the family business. "I've got a lot of good years left."
If you enjoy the Rockin' R Rodeo at the Buena Vista County Fair, follow them to their next stops. They will be in Milford on Friday, July 22 and then will travel to the Ida County Fair. They will present a show at their home arena on Friday, July 29. Contact the family at (712) 657-2996 for more information.