Rodeo club members prepare for 50th Jackrabbit Stampede

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

A group of students are preparing for the Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo, one of SDSU’s biggest athletic events.

The rodeo will be held April 1-4 at the Swiftel Center starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There is also an evening session Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Participants can compete in nine events, which include: saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, team roping, tie down, steer wrestling, break-away roping, goat tying, and barrel racing.

SDSU rodeo coach Terry McCutcheon said more events gives students better chances.

“You have an opportunities to redeem yourself,” he said. “It makes for a better competition.”

An exceptions rodeo, for grade school children, will be held Thursday. An alumni banquet will be held Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. with the 1953, ’54, and ’55 rodeo club presidents present. The rodeo club will also be honoring alumni at the banquet.

“We don’t know who yet. We are trying to gather that information now,” McCutcheon said.

On Sunday the club will crown Miss Rodeo SDSU. There will also be a rodeo dance 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

About 20 schools from a six state radius compete in the rodeo said senior Marci Weiss. Over 250 students come from Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota to compete in the rodeo.

Since this is the 50th anniversary of the Jackrabbit Stampede, McCutcheon said a few things were added in celebration.

One new aspect of the show is club championships. The club event was added to let different State clubs and organizations be a part of the Rodeo.

Sutton Rodeo Inc. out of Oneida S.D., provides the animals used in the rodeo. McCutcheon says they use the highest quality animals in their competition.

“We don’t skimp here for stock. We have them bring the best stock,” he said.

From SDSU, 37 students will be competing this year. However, they do more than compete. Senior Tabitha Sigman says she, along with many of her teammates, has been organizing the rodeo. They find judges, clowns and stock. They also prepare the arena and advertise the event.

The rodeo is not a cheap event. Although the Students’ Association gives the club some money for the Jackrabbit Stampede, students must raise the rest.

“[SA helps] with $13,000 but it is about a $50,000 event,” McCutcheon said.

Some students are excited to compete in this year’s rodeo. They like conversing with the other rodeo participants.

“I like the whole rodeo atmosphere,” said Sigman.

On Thursday, SDSU student day, students get in for half price.