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Tarleton Rodeo team buckles down for the win

Courtesy of Tarleton Rodeo

Courtesy of Tarleton Rodeo

Stephen Lowe, Contributor

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Starting yesterday, Stephenville starting hosting a three-day rodeo event, Tarleton Stampede, marking the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) Southwest Region’s final rodeo of the spring season. The 52nd annual event will span today through Saturday, April 22 at Lone Star Arena.

Tarleton State University’s men’s and women’s teams, both in first place in regional team standings, have 1210.33 and 534.17 point leads, respectively, against their closest contenders.

With such a commanding lead, both the men’s and woman’s teams are guaranteed to go to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) for the eighth straight year. This year’s CNFR will take place June 11-17 in Casper, Wyoming.

Individually, this will be Kody Lamb’s fifth time to make it to the finals, Baili Collin’s fourth time, and Lauren Bane’s fourth time, amongst other repeat finalists.

Students from seventeen different colleges will be competing in nine different events: bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-don roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Students will compete for individual titles, and their efforts will be combined to formulate a team score.

”Both teams have been training very hard all season to get where they are at,” said Head Coach Mark Eakin.

Tarleton has had a long history of rodeo success. The Texan Rodeo teams have accumulated thirty-two national championship victories since 1965. Twenty-five of those championships were awarded to individuals and seven were won in a team effort.

Eakin mentioned that besides the honor of winning in any of the particular events during the Tarleton Stampede, event average winners will receive a buckle and key. One of the keys will belong to a Polaris Ranger that a student has the chance to win. If their key turns it on, they get to take it home.

Performances began today at 8:30 a.m. and also at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Lone Star Arena. Admission is free with a Texan Card and general admission will be $10 per day at the gate. Children under 10 are admitted free.

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Tarleton Rodeo team buckles down for the win