Sweetheart of the rodeo

Andi Lynch

The 90-year-old Reno Rodeo continues to promise a good bucking time. The rodeo continues with events throughout the weekend, concluding on Sunday, June 27. For tickets or more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.renorodeo.com. Reno native Andi Lynch is Miss Reno Rodeo, the public face of the event.

What are your duties as Miss Reno Rodeo?

My job as Miss Reno Rodeo is basically to work with the media and do public relations for the Reno Rodeo. I travel to different rodeos and attend numerous community events in order to spread the word not only about rodeo, but also that the Reno Rodeo represents more than rodeo. It represents what it gives back to the community.

What does it give back to the community?

Well, we have a lot of volunteers, and one project we have is Team 355. The name Team 355 means that, other than the 10 days of rodeo, we’re involved in the community the other 355 days. So we try to involve ourselves in at least one community event per month.

Give me some examples.

One of our big projects this last year was the opening of the Kids Kottage. Also we do the Reno Denim Drive, we do the Reno Rodeo Blood Drive, and a lot of different things like that. We’re involved with Moms on the Run.

So we’re currently five days through this year’s Reno Rodeo. What have been some of the highlights so far?

Well, it’s been a great rodeo. Actually, on our second night of the rodeo, we had a record for the number of attendees we’ve ever had. For me, this is like my grand finale! I worked all year, and now I finally get to the rodeo, and I get to ride every night, which is a really big honor being able to ride into the arena with Cotton Rosser, our stock contractor, and being right up close and personal with all the rodeo events.

Are you a Reno native?

Yes. I was born and raised here in Reno. Right now I’m a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno. I’m dual majoring in nursing and accounting.

That’s quite a combination.

I know. It’s a little different. I’m still deciding, but ideally I’d like to become a nurse practitioner after getting my master’s degree and open up my own business as a nurse practitioner.

Very cool. Where’d you go to high school?

I went to high school at Reno High.

How old are you now?

I’m 20.

So unlike a lot of more traditional beauty queens, a rodeo queen has to be skilled with horsemanship. Can you tell me a little about your background with that?

Yes. I began riding when I was 5 years old, I got my first horse. I originally began showing horses in both Western and English riding, both disciplines. I was actively involved in 4H when I was younger. When I was old enough, at 14 years old, I started riding for the Reno Rodeo flag team, which is what introduced me to the concept of running for Miss Reno Rodeo, which I ran for when I turned 18.

What’s the appeal for you of riding? Why’s it something you enjoy?

Well, it’s just a lot of fun, and rodeo’s such an American sport. There’s a lot of other sports that are popular for America, but rodeo’s really the only sport that has a whole community, with a whole moral background, and a whole way of life that goes with it. And that way of life just kind of represents me and my morals and values also.