Rodeo team rides strong

Despite a rainy forecast, the SHSU rodeo team saw sunny scores and sales at its rodeo over the weekend.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday the rodeo team hosted the SHSU Rodeo at the Walker County Fairgrounds as a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Due to the rain, Roger Hanagriff, advisor for the SHSU Rodeo Club, said the ground was pretty difficult.

He said in spite of the poor conditions, the team worked hard to get the ground at the location ready for rodeo.

“We spent all Thursday working on the ground, draining mud holes,” Hanagriff said.

In spite of the weather, Hanagriff said the audience turn out was exceptional.

“We had the estimated 2,000 spectators over the weekend,” Hanagriff said.

Rodeo ticket sales, sponsors and advertisements on television brought in around $16,000 for the team. With the cost of the rodeo at about $11,000, the rodeo team made approximately $4,000 to $5,000 profit from the event.

“When you had weather like we had and you’re in the middle of the Houston rodeo, that’s not bad,” Hanagriff said of the money the team made.

Hanagriff also said there have been years with better weather in the past that did not bring in as much revenue as this year.

In addition to a large audience, the Outdoor Channel taped the SHSU Rodeo. SHSU will be the first institution of higher learning to have its rodeo aired, and the rodeo team is hoping to gain more national sponsors from the publicity. The rodeo taping will air April 21 and 23.

“(The taping) all went really smooth,” Hanagriff said. “It was a big success.”

Out of the 27 schools in the southern region of the NIRA, many were represented at the SHSU Rodeo. Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A&M University, Hill College, Wharton County Junior College, Southwest Texas State University and McNeese State University all brought teams to compete in the event.

Overall, SHSU’s men’s team won second place, and the women’s team won fifth.

Hanagriff said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“It turned out pretty good,” he said.

SHSU’s Mandi Walters won first place in barrel racing, with Wendy Schuler close behind in second.

Yvan Jayne won first place in the bareback competition.

Several SHSU rodeo team members placed for steer wrestling. Gerald Pasley won first, Will Scoggins won third and Garrett Manahan won fourth place.

Cliff Setford tied for second and third place in calf roping, and Tyler Senior won fourth place in the same competition.

Before last weekend’s rodeo, SHSU’s men’s team was in fourth place in the NIRA with 655.5 points, and the women’s team was in sixth place with 284 points.

Coming into Huntsville McNeese University’s men’s team was in first place with 1,188 points. The women’s team at Texas A&M University was in first place with 646 points. McNeese University and Texas A&M are two of SHSU’s biggest competitors in rodeo events.

Results from the SHSU Rodeo are not yet calculated into the NIRA’s current scores.

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