MSU successful at home rodeo

The MSU Spring Rodeo came to Bozeman for four full days of barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping and an array of other events. MSU won seven out of nine events in the rodeo on April 3-6, in which they competed against nine schools from across Mont. and Wyo.

Individuals atop the podium for the men ranged from junior Kendall Green in saddle bronc riding to sophomore Wyatt Bloom in bareback riding. On the women’s side, junior Kaela Murphy took first place in barrel racing and junior Sarah Wright also took first in goat tying. Additionally, junior Lauren Reiser won the Women’s All-Around performance for the first rodeo of the weekend and Wright won the same title for Sunday’s rodeo.

Although these wins were individual, senior Brittney VanAusdol explains how MSU Rodeo is a team sport. “It depends on the events you participate in, but even if you are involved in an individual event there is also another part of the equation — your horse. Therefore, every event can be considered a team effort. Everyone on the team is also very supportive and encouraging to his/her other team members. We always want our team to do well no matter what,” she said.

VanAusdol elaborated on the weekend stating the results placed MSU as the current leader in the Big Sky Region for both women’s and men’s teams. She added, “The goal of every rodeo is to win, but at the same time represent the school and program well.”

VanAusdol says rodeo is a lifestyle rather than a sport that one can easily jump into. “Most people involved in rodeo have grown up around horses on ranches or with parents who participated in rodeo. Rodeo is not just a hobby or extracurricular activity you can do when you want to; it is a lifestyle that takes 100 percent commitment,” she said. “There are those few who get into rodeo later on in life and can excel just as well as anyone but it takes a lot of practice and experience to become good at it.”

The next events for rodeo are trips to Glendive on April 25-27, Great Falls on May 1-3, and Missoula on May 9-11. These three rodeos will finish off the spring season. The members in the top three standings after these competitions will move on to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. in June.