South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

    PRCA Rodeo Preview

    SDSU Athletes are set to compete this Friday and Saturday
    Dacotah Bank Center
    Athlete competing in the bull riding competition at the PRCA Rodeo in 2022

    x South Dakota State University rodeo athletes will be competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Rodeo set for Friday and Saturday at the Dacotah Bank Center in Brookings.

    The PRCA Rodeo is a professional rodeo held annually in Brookings. The rodeo includes events such as bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle-bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding, as well as kid’s events including kids’ mutton bustin’, boot scramble, specialty acts and rodeo clowns.    

    Skovly said he thinks this professional event creates needed exposure for the rodeo community. “Brookings is actually a really good rodeo town, people have always supported rodeo here,” he said.

    There are 44 rodeo students on the SDSU travelling team this year. The six athletes who will be participating this weekend are Rafe Wientjes and Trey Frank, team roping; Arabella Cook, barrel racing; Kaden Wooters and Dalton Kunkee, steer wrestling, and Seth Gaikwoski, tie down roping.

    “We started the SDSU rodeo team in 1952,” Skovly said and yeah, we have had huge support there. The pro rodeo is a great rodeo to gain support too.” The rodeo usually attracts between 4,000 and 5,000 spectators.

    Arabella Cook is a 20-year-old junior at SDSU from California, competes in the barrel racing event at the PRCA rodeo. Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and a rider attempt to run a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time.

    Cook was not raised in a rodeo family but despite that this will not be Cook’s first PRCA rodeo event.

    “When I turned 18, I got my PRCA permit, and since then I have been competing in the PRCA for a few years now,” she said. “None of my parents or siblings even ride horses.”

    Cook’s interest in rodeo began in kindergarten because a friend of hers had horses. Since then, Cook rode whenever she could. She got her first horse freshman year of high school and she began competing in rodeo as a sophomore.

    When asked why she chose SDSU, Cook said: “I’m from California, pretty far away. But I was looking for a school that had a good rodeo team and I wanted something different.”

    Cook also reflected on how happy she is here and how accepting and supportive her teammates are.

    “We have a pretty close-knit team,” Cook said, “We’re all really good at helping each other and lifting each other up.”

    Cook is excited to watch the tie-down roping event at this PRCA event, but she is most excited to compete and show off her rodeo skills in her own event.

    “It (tie-down roping) definitely has the most going on, it’s very exciting,” Cook said.

    The rodeo is known for excitement and is full of adrenaline as these athletes show off their skills as they compete. Skovly is looking forward to watching the calf roping, or tie down roping, as he was a calf-roper himself, but many people are attracted to the bull riding.

    SDSU rodeo team coach Ronald Skovly participated and won an event in this professional rodeo himself. “I actually won this rodeo in calf-roping about eight years ago,” Skovly said.

    Calf roping, also known as tie-down roping, is a rodeo event that features a calf and a rider mounted on a horse. The goal of this timed event is for the rider to catch the calf by throwing a loop of rope from a lariat around its neck, dismount from the horse, run to the calf, and restrain it by tying three legs together, in as short a time as possible.

    Tickets are still available. They range from $27 to $100 for VIP tickets. SDSU students can purchase tickets for $23 on Reserved P2 & P3. These tickets will only be available at the box office. Students must present their student ID to receive these discounted tickets. One student ID per ticket.

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      anitaNov 2, 2023 at 2:28 pm

      good article