Sam Houston State University’s rodeo team will have its time to shine under the spotlight on television this week.
The rodeo team will be featured on the Outdoor Channel at 7 p.m. tomorrow in a televised rodeo. The rodeo actually took place on March 1 in Huntsville.
With all the expected events in a rodeo, SHSU’s team competed in the Southern Regional competition with rodeo teams from colleges such as Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin, McNeese State, as well as numerous junior colleges.
Roger Hanagriff, rodeo team coach, said the rodeo office and the students of Sam Houston campaigned to gain sponsors in order to televise the rodeo.
“This is the first time any college rodeo at the regional level has been televised so this is pretty cool,” Hanagriff said.
Students and faculty members raised about $20,000 between local and televised sponsors, actually bringing in a profit, which will be contributed to scholarship funds.
Hanagriff said he hopes the televised event will get Sam Houston’s name “out there.”
“The main reason we tried to get this televised was to expose the university and the Sam Houston rodeo team,” he said. “I think it’s really important.”
Hanagriff said many national sponsors were at the rodeo and that he hopes they will become contributors to the SHSU rodeo fund.
“We get some funding, but it’s just not enough,” he said.
In its first year and with a large goal, Hanagriff said he was very impressed that the students were actually able to make a profit from their work on the rodeo event.
He said Bearkat students raised about $10,000 from local sponsors in the months before the rodeo. Once rodeo time arrived, they had to cowboy up again to manage the show on top of competing in and winning several of their own events.
Hanagriff said he thinks the sponsors will see the benefits of their contributions when they see their own advertisements during the show.
Some of the major sponsors who will be advertised during the televised SHSU rodeo are Rio Vista Horse Products, Hillcrest Ford and Rodeo Houston. Sam Houston will also have its own time on the air as its own students are featured in the finals of the rodeo.
Hanagriff said he is hopeful the SHSU rodeo will only increase in size during the coming years.
“We’re looking forward to next year, to bringing in three or four major sponsors, and to make this a more budget enhancing event,” said Hanagriff.