The Weber State University rodeo team hosted the Weber State Rodeo on March 24 and 25 at the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden.
Rodeo has a longstanding tradition at Weber State. Since its inception in 1970, WSU’s rodeo club has been active for almost 50 years
The two-night event was the Wildcat’s first home rodeo of the season.
Preston Hodson, a WSU student and a member of the rodeo club, competes in the steer wrestling and tie-down roping. He spoke about how well Weber has done in competition this year.
“We’ve had a great season so far as a team” Hodson said. “Our boy’s team is currently second in the region with only a few points separating us from the number one spot.”
There were teams from 10 colleges who participated in the weekend’s rodeo. The rodeo is made up of nine events: bareback riding, breakaway, tie-down roping, saddle-bronc riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.
A few of the events are rather self explanatory. Bareback, saddle-bronc and bull riding are events in which a contestant attempts to stay on a bucking horse or bull for eight seconds. Judges determine scores based on how long the rider was able to stay on the animal, how smooth the flow of the ride was and how much the animal bucked.
Tie-down roping and goat tying are events where the contestant begins on horseback and chases their respective animal.
In tie-down roping, a steer is released from a chute as a rider on horseback follows behind it. The rider must then lasso the steer, dismount from the horse, run to the steer, flip it over and tie three of its legs together. The rider with the fastest time wins.
Goat tying is similar. A goat is on a leash at one end of the arena, and the rider enters from the other end. The rider must approach the goat, dismount, flip the goat and tie three of its legs together. Again, the fastest time wins.
In steer wrestling, a steer is released from a chute ahead of a horseback rider. The rider must catch up to the steer, dismount and wrestle the steer to its back. The fastest time wins.
Barrel racing consists of a contestant entering the arena from one end, circling three barrels that are placed throughout the arena and then exiting from the same direction they entered. The fastest time wins.
Team roping consists of a steer being released from the chute ahead of two horseback riders. The riders work in tandem as one of the riders attempts to lasso the steer’s horns. After the steer is lassoed by the horns, the other rider attempts to lasso the steer by at least one of its hind legs. A time penalty is incurred if only one leg is caught, and as always, the fastest time wins.
Colten Mooney is a WSU student and member of the rodeo club. He said he enjoys rodeo for the atmosphere and the competition.
“Rodeo is a family sport that allows everybody to be involved,” Mooney said. “It’s different than any other sport because you’re competing against everyone, but at the same time you’re competing for everyone to win.”
The students are competing to qualify for the College Nationals Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, in June. The top three contestants in each event after 10 rodeos qualify to participate in the CNFR.