Competition to show if ‘fear is a factor’

The Department of Agriculture and Industrial Sciences is joining with the SHSU Rodeo Team to present the annual “Fear is a Factor” bull riding competition on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the rodeo arena at Gibbs Ranch.

The event recruits students not affiliated with the rodeo team to compete by attempting to ride a bull for the traditional eight seconds.

“A lot of students want to compete in a bull-riding competition but rarely have the opportunity,” Kaylee Knighton, secretary and member of the rodeo team, said. “This event gives students a go at it and allows our team a chance to showcase what we do.”

Participants must be enrolled at SHSU and must sign a liability waiver. Riders will have an hour and a half before the event to practice with mechanical bulls and will be coached on safety tips.

Other events include a cowboy auction and a performance by the SHSU Rodeo Team. The auction will take place between the two rounds of the competition.

In round two, the top 10 individuals will compete for the grand prize, a trophy buckle.

“This has become a popular event for students,” said team member Travis Ross. “Last year, approximately 200 people attended. For safety reasons, participants will not be riding the same bulls that members of the rodeo team ride.”

“Safety gear, a helmet and a vest, will be provided for the student to wear, but there cannot be any safety guarantee,” said rodeo team coach Bubba Miller. “We’re going to give them easiest bulls we can find, but that’s a relative term. They’re still going to be full-grown.

“Students must be informed that this is one of the most dangerous sports in the world.”

The event serves as a fundraiser for the rodeo team as they will travel throughout South Texas and Louisiana to compete for the national competition in Casper, Wyo., in June.

No entry fee is necessary to participate, but riders must be at least 18 years old.

Those who wish to participate must be at the Gibbs Ranch arena located on Highway 75 N. by 6 p.m.

Participants do not need to sign up beforehand.

The admission fee is $5 for those attending.

For more information, contact Miller at 936-294-3867.

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