Jackrabbit Stampede returns to Swiftel Center


Sam Schoenbauer

A member of the rodeo team attempts to rope a calf at the 2022 Jackrabbit Stampede rodeo.

Jaycie Forbes, Reporter

The Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo returns to the Swiftel Center Friday and Saturday. Rodeo action kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with events continuing into Saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Fifteen schools from South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska will be traveling to Brookings for the two-day event. 

Contestants will compete in events for bareback riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie roping. SDSU has one bull rider, 12 goat tiers, two steer wrestlers, five calf ropers, 16 team ropers and 26 barrel racers competing in this year’s rodeo.

“As we get closer to the rodeo my nerves are turning into excitement,” Jazz McGirr, a freshmen rodeo athlete, said. “I have been going to the Jackrabbit Stampede for as long as I can remember, it is exciting for me to finally be a contestant and be a Jackrabbit.”

An event like the Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo takes an extensive amount of preparation and the SDSU Rodeo club begins planning at the end of November. Club members make sponsorship calls, create advertising posters and recruit members. 

“They hire the best announcers, music technicians, bull fighters and pickup men that are available,” Ronald Skovly, rodeo coach, said “The performance times are fast paced and normally around two and a half hours or less.”

The Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo is run with the help of the six-generation Sutton Rodeo Company. Since the 1950’s, the Sutton family have brought the rodeo stock to almost every Jackrabbit Stampede.

Midco Sports Network will be airing the rodeo April 10, 11 and 12 for those unable to attend the event in person. 

Tickets can be purchased at the Swiftel Center’s Active Heating Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com.

Mezzanine tickets can only be purchased at the Active Heating Box Office. General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 3 to 12 and kids under 2 are free. Tickets are $20 for students and first-row VIP seats are $50.

With every ticket sold, the SDSU rodeo club receives $3 per ticket. The club typically receives anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 depending on the year and the number of tickets sold. 

“We use the money raised to help pay for our travel expenses, practice stock feed, boarding facility and practice arena maintenance and renting the Swiftel Center Holding Barn for indoor practices when the weather is not good for being at our outdoor rodeo arena on campus,” Skovly said.