K-State Rodeo club works year-round for annual rodeo

Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian A cowgirl from Western Oklahoma State College pursues a calf, twirling rope in hand, during the calf roping competition at the first day of the annual K-State Rodeo Friday night at Weber Arena.

The 58th annual K-State Rodeo, K-State rodeo club’s largest event, kicks off today in Weber Arena and lasts until Sunday. Preparations for the rodeo began last August, spearheaded by the club’s president Jonna Wright, junior in food science.

“We start planning for this rodeo as soon as we get back to college in August and work on it the whole year, this is the main focus for the club,” Wright said. “With an event this big it takes a lot of time and effort by the club. We have a really great club that always wants to represent K-State in a positive manner.”

The week before the rodeo there are responsibilities for the entire club.

“We will set up stalls for contestants that will be traveling in, set up panels outside of Weber Arena to hanging banners up in the arena and … run livestock through to make sure everything is running smoothly,” Wright said.

Attention to detail helps the rodeo run smoothly, like utilizing students who will camp out at the stalls to greet contestants arriving in Manhattan at all hours of the night.

“When putting on a rodeo of this size the important thing is that we all work as a team, teamwork is the key to success for us,” Wright said. “Just like it says, a student run event, which means everything that goes on in a performance of the rodeo is all run by the students. We have students that will work all of the events on the arena floor.”

Attendees will find students doing everything from pulling the shoot gate for bull riding, to helping with the flags used for signals to the judges.

However, students aren’t only working behind the scenes, some are participating as well.

Tanner Brunner, junior in animal science and industry, will be competing in the rodeo as a representative of the club for his second year in a row.

“It’s a great sport to be apart of because we’re all very competitive but yet always willing to help one another to compete at our very best,” Brunner said.

Sage Henderson, senior in animal science pre-vet, will be competing on Saturday in the barrel racing event. She grew up in the rodeo competition watching her father, who was also involved in the sport.

“It is great that students can come together for the weekend for an event like this,” Henderson said. “We are all going to school but yet are still able to do something we’ve have always loved.”