Stampede rodeo makes its return

Chloe Risse, Reporter

​​The Swiftel Center staff and the South Dakota State University Rodeo Team have both been working hard to prepare for the 66th annual Jackrabbit Stampede. There is a lot of excitement for the rodeo, since it has been canceled for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Swiftel Center is expecting a crowd of over 2,000 people per performance, with the largest crowd on Saturday night. The Swiftel has been busy converting from last weekend’s “Hairball” concert into an arena in time for the Stampede.

“We are in charge of set up/tear down, staffing, ticketing, marketing and event management for the rodeo,” General Manager Mike Logan, said.

While the Swiftel Center staff is busy creating an arena, the SDSU rodeo team has been practicing to be able to perform well in front of Jackrabbit nation for the first time in many of the team members’ cases. 

Jordan Jehn, a junior who competes in barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping, spoke about what she hopes it will feel like to perform in front of the Brookings audience for the first time as a three-year rodeo team member. 

“I think I’ll like being able to have my friends from classes come watch me. A lot of them have never seen me compete before or anything,” Jehn said. 

The men’s and women’s teams are both sitting at 4th in the Great Plains Region out of 13 teams. One member, Chance Grill, has been performing well and is currently 2nd in the region for the title of All-Around Cowboy, 10th in Tie-Down Roping and 1st in Steer-Wrestling. 

“I don’t feel any pressure with my standing, as I’ve been in situations similar to this all my life,” Grill said. “To me, the Stampede is just another rodeo to go out and compete how we’ve been practicing.”

Madison Rotenberger, another junior on the team, talked about how proud she is of the team as the year’s progressed.

“We have a lot of young cowgirls and cowboys, and the improvements they’ve made inside the arena are phenomenal,” Rotenberger said.  

Over 15 schools and 270 rodeo contestants will travel up to 5,500 miles to perform this weekend in Brookings. The first performance will be held Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. The activities will continue Saturday, April 9 with performances at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $26 and children ages 3-12 tickets are $19. SDSU students can watch the rodeo for $20 with their student ID. 


Great Plains Region Rodeo Standings

Colton Carlson (7th/All-Around Cowboy, 3rd/Tie-Down Roping & 5th/Team Roping Header)

Rafe Wientjes (7th/Tie-Down Roping)

Judd Grover (13th/Tie-Down Roping & 1st/ Team Roping Heeler)

Garret Arndorfer (15th/Steer Wrestling)

Colton Stuva (15th/Team Roping Heeler)

Arabella Cook (1st/Barrel Racing)

Alix VanderVoort (4th/Barrel Racing)

Shaw Nelson (9th/Barrel Racing)

Shannon McBride (10th/Barrel Racing)

Victoria Skiba (3rd/Goat Tying)

Madison Rotenberger (8th/Goat Tying)

Tessa Menzel (9th/Goat Tying)

Rayha Richert (10th/Goat Tying)