It’s college rodeo time at Manhattan.
“Alumni, friends and rodeo fans will gather in the warmth of Weber Arena February 16-18 for the 62nd annual K-State College Rodeo,” according K-State Rodeo Team Coach Casy Winn.
“The rodeo serves as an unofficial reunion for those in the regional rodeo community,” Winn said.
“Friends who they haven’t seen all winter gather to watch some of the top college rodeo talent in the country including the K-State Rodeo Team.”
Nearly 450 contestants from 18 colleges in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association come to Manhattan competing in front of 10,000 total fans.
“Student athletes in this region tell us they love competing in front of full-house crowds,” Winn said. “That amps up the contestants, which makes for a great rodeo atmosphere.”
The action gets underway Friday morning, Feb. 16, with tie-down roping, breakaway roping, team roping and steer wrestling slack at 9 o’clock.
Friday evening’s opening performance at 7 o’clock will be “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” Night.
“Horsemanship competition for the Miss Rodeo K-State contest will take place between the slack and the evening performance,” Winn noted.
Contestants will be back in Weber at 9 o’clock Saturday morning, Feb. 17, for barrel racing and goat tying slack.
Miss Rodeo K-State will be crowned at 6:45, just ahead of the Saturday evening performance, which is “Pack Weber with Purple” Night. Rodeo action begins at 7 o’clock.
“Children 12 and under get in free Saturday night with the donation of one canned good for Flint Hills Breadbasket,” Winn said. “One adult ticket to the rodeo must be purchased for the special offer.
Cowboy Church is planned Sunday morning, Feb. 18, in the arena at 10 ‘clock.
Sunday afternoon’s rodeo performance at 1 o’clock is the Military Appreciation Short-Go. Winn said, “The top 10 contestants in each event from the long-go will be competing.”
Coach Winn started the semester and the stretch run of the season by leading rodeo team members through a goal-setting session.
“Students were asked to set three goals focused on raising the level of the team and accomplishing their individual goals,” he advised.
Expected impact of this exercise was illustrated by Winn when he handed out a quote from life coach and Personal Excellence Founder Celestine Chua.
“If you hang out with a group of successful, positive individuals who believe in taking responsibility for their lives,” Chua insisted, “you will become a proactive individual who shapes your future”
On the contrary, “If you hang out with a bunch of pessimists who believe the world is out to get them and there is nothing worthwhile,” Chua said, “You will start to descend into a pool of negativity at some point, even if you are initially a positive person.
“This is especially important in goal achievement, because the consciousness you vibrate at affects your thoughts and actions,” suggests Chua declared.
“The K-State Rodeo Team will take its positive outlook into the spring rodeos after a solid start in the fall,” Winn said.
The K-State women’s team currently is sixth in the Central Plains Region led by Cara Jolly, who is eighth in the barrel racing after making three of four short-go-rounds during the fall rodeos.
Kassidi Hofman won the breakaway roping at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University rodeo and is seventh in the region standings.
On the men’s side, the team is 12th overall. Those points were compiled through four rodeos led by Blake Toliver, who is ranked fifth place in the region in heeling.
Shad Winn ranks eighth in the bull riding, while Asher Huck sits 12th in heeling, and Kyle Eike’s 14th in the wrestling.
K-State team members will have opportunities to sharpen up by making runs behind the barrier in Weber Arena during upcoming practice sessions.
Coach Winn is looking for a strong finish from the upper classmen and the continued progress of freshmen and sophomores through the six spring college rodeos.
Alumni and friends of the K-State rodeo program have been invited to a special event Saturday, Feb. 17. There will be an afternoon social from 4 o’clock, to 6 o’clock, at the Stanley Stout Center.
Those attending will be treated to light refreshments and be eligible for free raffle items.
To spread awareness about the sport of rodeo and increase attendance at the K-State Rodeo, the team hosted an educational reading rodeo program February 9 at the Manhattan Public Library.
Coach Winn and rodeo team members read a story to the children about the sport of rodeo, with ties to the K-State Rodeo Club and Team.
“Short Go Makes the NFR” was written and illustrated by a mother-daughter duo. Author Lindsay Keller, Kremlin, Oklahoma, and illustrator Marilyn Domer of Topeka are former K-State Rodeo Team members.