College rodeo returns this weekend as the SUU rodeo team gears up for their first National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) event since last October. The team will head north for the fourth annual Snow College Rodeo at the Blackhawk Arena in Salina March 2 and 3.
During the break in action, coach Shane Flanigan said the team members participated in jackpot events and other rodeos to keep themselves and their horses in shape. Team members also did gound work without their horses, such as roping dummies and practicing tying. “Building their muscle memory is always a very important part of being ready,” Flanigan said.
The team currently has four members ranked in the NIRA Rocky Mountain Region standings. Cody Franson, a sophomore agricultural science and industries major from Lehi, is ranked second in bareback bronc riding with 650 total points. Rodeo Club President Jacob Perkins, a senior agricultural science and industries major from Panguitch, holds 12th in tie-down roping with 90 points and ninth in team roping header with 130 points. Zackary Frei, a junior agriculture science and industries major from Iowa City, Iowa, is tied for eighth in team roping heeler with 130 points. Macy Anderson, a freshman accounting major from Leeds, is ranked 15th in goat tying with 70 points.
With 1,060 overall points, the SUU men’s team is ranked fifth in the Rocky Mountain Region. The women’s team is ranked 11th with 147.5 overall points.
In addition to preparing for the spring rodeos, the team is hoping for a new place to practice. Flanigan is creating a proposal to build an SUU rodeo team facility, since at times the team struggles with the cost of renting the Diamond Z Arena for winter practices. The desired features of the facility would include 32 covered stalls with runs for team member’s horses, areas for trucks and trailers, and storage for hay and gear.
“So if you know of anyone with $250,000 extra hanging around, we will name it after them and put it to good use bringing more top notch team members to SUU rodeo,” Flanigan said.
Team member Richard Boswell II, a freshman management major from Pioneertown, Calif., will be taking over the SUU News sports Instagram for live updates and behind-the-scenes footage at the Snow College Rodeo this weekend. Boswell competes in the team roping and calf roping events.
Keep up with all of the rodeo team’s news by liking their page on Facebook.
Featured Photo Courtesy of Richard Boswell II