It may not sound like cowboy or Western-way-of life terminology. Yet that’s the way the K-State Rodeo Club president repeatedly described activities of the revived-and-energetic college campus group.
Unquestionably, enthusiastic is the attitude of Julia Kaufman in her third term as leader of the 50-plus member group involving participants from nearly every curriculum of the university.
A full-fledged cowgirl in her own right, competing successfully in barrel racing at rodeos and jackpots throughout the Midwest, Kaufman is an elementary education major from Fairway.
“I think it’s very cool how the rodeo club has developed and progressed over the past couple of years,” Kaufman said.
Although the organization dates to the late 1940s, there has been resurgence of effort recently.
“It’s really cool the new facilities we have now at the Equestrian Center conveniently located right on the north edge of our main campus,” Kaufman said.
That includes a practice arena with both timed event and rough stock facilities plus 21 runs with portable stalls at the Equine Education Center. “So, team members have the arena close-by for practice every day if they desire,” added Kaufman, noting that livestock is readily available for timed-event practice.
Ken Odde is head of the animal science department, and Clarke Jackman is chairman of the advisory board. “It’s cool how they’ve worked to find funding and collect donations for building this great center,” Kaufman added.
Beth McQuad of the veterinarian medicine faculty on campus serves as advisor of the rodeo club, and Doug Muller, the high school vocational agriculture instructor, is the rodeo team coach.
“They are such a cool pair to help our organization,” Kaufman said.
Presently 16 members of the K-State Rodeo Club are on the traveling squad of the K-State Rodeo Team.
Several have provided steers and calves for time-event practice. The club pays for the cattle feed, and we are looking into leasing rough stock for team practice in the spring.
Of course, the upcoming 56th annual Kansas State University Rodeo is on a front-burner for the group at this time. “We are expecting more than 500 contestants from 23 colleges in the Central Plains Region of the NIRA for the four performances, February 17-18-19, at Weber Arena,” Kaufman said.
That is preceded by a bull riding competition at Weber at 7:30 p.m. Friday. A total of 35 contestants including several champions are expected to compete in the long go-round, with the top-ten coming back for the short-go.
“I think it’s so cool to have such top bulls and cowboys to kick-off an event such as this,” Kaufman said.
Already, the portable woven-wire fencing has been placed inside the concrete-walled indoor Weber facility, and bucking chutes standby ready to be installed. “We will have both left- and right-hand chutes this year to improve the quality of the performance by both the bulls and the contestants,” Kaufman noted.
Performances are set for 7:30 Friday and Saturday evenings, with the Saturday afternoon long-go performance and the short-go matinee Sunday both beginning at 1 p.m.