ProRodeo Sports News - Sept. 4, 2020


How are you feeling about the season? Riley: It started off as a normal year and then the coronavirus happened, and everything shut down for a while. The first rodeo I went to after that was Woodward, Okla., and then Coleman, Texas. What are your goals? Riley: My goal this year is to finish off the season strong, win rookie of the year and make it into all the winter rodeos for next year. Then, eventually, to make the NFR. How did you get into steer wrestling? Riley: My dad trained steer wrestling horses and has steer wrestled his whole life. He still does. I’ve been around it, traveling with him, Scott Kleeman and Cameron Morman since I was a kid. I always watched them compete, and now I get to. What’s been your favorite rodeo you’ve competed at? Riley: Prescott, Ariz., was a fun one, a little bit different than everywhere else we’ve been. Baker, Mont., treated me well, I’ve always done well in that arena. It’s close to home, my grandparents live there, and I have a lot of connections there. It’s a fast setup and fits me well. How would you like to improve in your event? North Dakota cowboy Riley Reiss has an appetite for success in and out of the rodeo arena. A sophomore at Laramie County (Wyo.) Community College, Reiss is majoring in business management and entrepreneurship, while also competing on the rodeo team and working his way up in ProRodeo. As of Sept. 1, the 20-year-old was No. 1 in the steer wrestling PRCA | Resistol Rookie Standings.


Riley: I usually do better at one-headers than two-headers. I think I just need to slow down and make a solid run on my first run (at the two-headers) so that I can come back and win money in the average, not just go for rounds. What’s been your biggest rodeo achievement? Riley: This year in Grand Island, Neb., I took second in the long round, first in the progressive round and then won the average. That’s the biggest paycheck ($2,998) I’ve won. In Baker, Mont., my time was 3.2 seconds and I tied the arena record, so that was cool. How do you prepare for a run? Riley: I like to get saddled fairly early, ride my horses around and make sure they’re feeling good. I take the last five to 10 minutes before we go to stretch out and focus on what start I’m going to take. Then I get back in the box and let muscle memory take over. Who do you look up to in rodeo? Riley: Cameron Morman as far as steer wrestling. He’s very fundamental about it, and I’ve been able to practice with him a lot. Attitude-wise, my rodeo coach Dean Finnerty. He’s been through a lot, and you’ll never see him without a smile on his face. He has the best attitude of anyone I’ve ever been around. What is your most prized possession? Riley: In high school I won a Levi Wisness steer wrestling buckle. I won it two times for winning the average at our state finals, and it means a lot. Levi was a bulldogger that grew up not too far from our house and died way too young. The buckles have their own case and sit above my bed at home. What’s your favorite way to relax? Riley: I hunt a lot. To relax, I like to go hang out in the hills and look for deer and hunt deer. I also snowmobile a lot. Who knows you best in life? Riley: Either my mom or roommate, Jhet Murphy. I met him my junior year at the high school finals. We became friends right away and have been close ever since. He’s who I’m traveling with this fall. What’s your favorite TV show? Riley: MeatEater by Steven Rinella. He’s got a series out that shows a different side of hunting, the conservation side of it. It’s on Netflix. What’s your favorite dessert? Riley: Apple pie.

Who would you rather have dinner with, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood? Riley: John Wayne. He’s a real, old-school cowboy, I’ve watched all his movies. What’s the best advice you’ve received? Riley: To slow down and finish big. Last summer I had trouble with being in a hurry, not finishing very well and not making very good runs on steers. Scott Kleeman is the one that told me that. Slow down, do your job and finish them. What do you love most about the rodeo lifestyle? Riley: Being able to travel around, be with your buddies all the time and see new things. There’s a lot of down time with rodeo too, so we get to see different parts of the U.S., and it’s kind of a big vacation.

ProRodeo Sports News 9/4/2020


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