Students sporting cowboy boots and Wranglers got their hands dirty in the Agriculture and Environmental Science club’s 57th annual ACU Rodeo Friday night at the Taylor Country Expo Center.
The rodeo, which served as a fundraiser for the AES club, featured events such as goat roping, a calf scramble, steer riding and a chicken chase said Grant Lawrence, junior wildlife management major from Bangs.
“It’s more of a comical kind of rodeo,” Lawrence said. “It used to have pretty real events like bull riding, team roping and barrel racing, but now it’s shifted due to liability reasons.”
Students entered as teams of four guys or girls and competed in different heats for each event. Many social clubs signed up and earned intramural points, but entry was open to any students who wanted to participate, Lawrence said.
Lawrence said some of the events were still rather rough. For the steer saddling event, steers were released into the arena with a rope around their horns. Teams were required to capture a steer and lead it from one side of the arena to the other with one of their team members on its back.
For cowbell chaos, one of the girls events, teams had to chase down a calf and untie a ribbon with a cowbell around its neck. The first team to ring the bell inside the circle in the middle of the arena won.
The men of Galaxy won first place overall in the men’s division and the Kojies won first for girls. Jenny Skorusa was crowned Rodeo Queen and Chip Moore was named the Roughie Champion.
DJ Acevedo, junior youth and family ministry major from Tuscola, participated in the rodeo with two other team members.
“The steer wrestling was my favorite event; there was higher anxiety and excitement having to hop in the chute and wrestle down a steer,” Acevedo said. “My teammate and I double-teamed him, and I had the head of the steer. It was literally grabbing the bull by the horns.”
Acevedo said the rodeo was important because it brought attention to the Agriculture department and majors that are not frequently highlighted on campus.
“Those majors and those departments are actually very important to our state,” Acevedo said. “And the rodeo is a kind of heritage. When you think about Texas you think of rodeos.”
Acevedo said the events selected were not overly difficult for people who had no prior experience with livestock.
“There’s something about just getting together and getting dirty,” Acevedo said. “Getting a team together and finding an excuse to roll around in the dirt is a cool chance to hang out with people and try something different.”
Acevedo said a highlight of this year’s rodeo was watching his teammate, Adam Browning, take down a sheep in the sheep dressing competition.
“Adam form tackled a sheep into a panel and the sheep was so stunned that it just kind of rolled over on its back and we got it dressed in no time at all,” Acevedo said. “We saw a couple of guys start to drag their sheep to the circle and we just decided to pick it up and run with it towards the middle circle.”
Afterwards, Jamie Richards played a concert. Lawrence said it felt like a private party for those who stayed.
“This was probably the smoothest most efficient rodeo that we’ve had in recent years,” Lawrence said. “Numbers were down this year because of conflicting events but there was still a good showing that came out.”
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