Reno Rodeo 100: 'Woman In Labor!'

Jun 24, 2019

The Reno Rodeo 100 is a multimedia storytelling series commemorating the event’s 100th anniversary. In this excerpt, Julianna Waller recounts the story of her sister’s birth - and how it almost happened at the event one year. She shared her story from the rodeo grounds. 

Julianna Waller has been around the rodeo since she was about five years old. “The Reno Rodeo is really special to my family. My little sister was actually almost born in the stands.” 

One year, Waller’s mom was perched in the grandstands, set to watch her daughter Julianna race in mutton busting. As she waited, she went into labor. She was reluctant to leave because Julianna hadn’t gone yet and she was not going to leave without watching her daughter perform. Everyone was trying to tell Waller’s mom to leave. Eventually she had to.

“When she was getting taken out, she got put on this cart," Julianna Waller recalled, "and she was like, ‘Please don’t make a big deal out of it.’ And the guy driving her through all the cowboys was like, ‘Woman in labor! Woman in labor!’ ”

Julianna Waller says she will always remember that night at rodeo because it was the night her little sister was born.

The Reno Rodeo 100 project is a community partnership with several funders, including the Reno Rodeo Association and their charitable foundation. It’s content is produced by multimedia storyteller Jessi LeMay. To hear more of KUNR's coverage of the 2019 Reno Rodeo, check out Spurs and Mud: A Century of Reno Rodeo.