Last Tuesday afternoon at New Mexico State University, a goat tying athlete practiced in the cold 40-degree weather, horses were exercised with steam roaring from their noses and athletes began pulling their trailers in after the break. 2018 has begun and the college rodeo season is about to heat up for a competitive year.
The athletes had a prosperous fall season and some great highlights. NMSU’s men’s team sits in second place overall and the women’s team is third in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Grand Canyon Region. Thirteen NMSU competitors currently qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo in June. A few contestants won the all-around champion title during the fall rodeos and athletes ran competitive times and held some high scores during the previous season.
NMSU rodeo coach Logan Corbett has the approaching season prearranged with practice, upcoming rodeos, jackpots, team meetings, community service and fundraisers.
“We have a lot of student athletes placing high overall but everything can change during the spring,” Corbett said. “There are more rodeos to come and the athletes and I plan to work harder than ever for a successful season.”
Corbett wants to organize rodeo jackpots for the team to have a chance to win cash and have some competitive preparation in the arena.
“We have scheduled jackpots early on that are cheap to enter and give the athletes a chance to get their mind frames set and have some timed rivalry against one another and members from the community,” Corbett said.
The team will meet every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Gerald Thomas Hall.
The season heats up in March, beginning with Fort Huachuca, Arizona, March 2-3. The second rodeo is March 10-11 in Florence, Arizona, followed by the University of Arizona’s rodeo in Tucson, Arizona, March 17. The NMSU hometown rodeo is scheduled for March 31 and the regional finals is in Socorro, New Mexico, April 13-14.
Carly Billington, NMSU athlete, was elected as the 2017-2019 regional director of the Grand Canyon Region this last year. The regional director is similar to a student body president. She is responsible for watching every event and making sure everything runs smoothly and that rules are being followed. Regional directors are given the opportunity to participate in rodeo a fifth year while being an undergraduate.
“My expectations for this year are to help make the region appeal to student athletes and to grow the numbers,” Billington said. “My goal is to represent the region to the best of my ability.”
The Grand Canyon Region rodeo teams are selling raffle tickets to support the future of college rodeo. The tickets are $10 apiece and three winners will be drawn April 29. The prizes include: first, $2,000, second, $1,500, and third, $1,000. A ticket can be purchased from any student athlete in the region.
Corbett plans for the team to visit elementary schools and spread the word about rodeo and teach younger generations about the great sport itself.
For more information on the upcoming season, contact Corbett at lcorbett.