On Friday, October 1, 1976, with the rodeo scheduled the next day, Ragsdale still had no livestock.
Determined to buy cows and calves himself for the event, Phil drove 60 miles to Fallon only to discover the weekly livestock auction was held on Wednesdays.
When the SSGRA tried to rent a private arena in Fallon owned by David Lantry, the Churchill County Commission, in a meeting packed with hysterical locals--many of whom carried guns—denied Lantry’s request for a liquor license and Churchill County District Attorney Kevin Pasquale issued an injunction to stop the rodeo.
Litigation against the university and the Churchill County Commission was unsuccessful.
In 1987 the Comstock Gay Rodeo Association reconstituted itself as the Silver State Gay Rodeo Association [SSGRA], took a seat in the IGRA, and planned the 1988 International Finals Rodeo for Reno on October 21-23.
But in January 1992 a group of rodeo fans in Las Vegas established the Southern Nevada Gay Rodeo Association, which incorporated on June 19, 1992 as the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association [NGRA] and adopted the Backstreet Saloon--Charlie's, at the time of this writing--as its home bar.
That was true only what: when the Imperial Palace Hotel, where the NGRA had booked 50 rooms for the 1994 Gymkhana participants, found out that NGRA stood for Nevada Gay Rodeo Association, those 50 rooms were no longer available.
The rodeo had to book rooms then at the Maxim Hotel and Casino.
The auction managers referred Ragsdale to a local rancher who provided the animals and Ragsdale drove back to Reno at 10 o'clock the night before the rodeo was scheduled.
Early the next morning, the first Reno Gay Rodeo opened with five cows, ten calves, and one Shetland pony.
Ragsdale approached the Washoe County Fairgrounds manager and the earliest date the facility was available was October 2, 1976.