MSU Rodeo Club keeps American tradition alive through sport
Cowboys and cowgirls are not just people seen in Western movies — they’re also students at MSU.
Members of the MSU Rodeo Club aim to do what they love while showing the details of their sport.
Rodeo is a sporting event that involves horses and other livestock animals in which cowboys or cowgirls show their skills.
According to the Friends of Rodeo website, different events in a rodeo include bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, team roping and others.
The , started in 1969, strives to keep the traditions and heritage of the American sport of rodeo alive.
Animal science senior Alycia Drwencke said this is her fourth year in the club.
“I grew up around agriculture and I grew up on a farm, so I had a lot of strong ties to animals and being involved with clubs that had animal involvement,” she said. “I had done a little bit of rodeo stuff in the past, so when I heard that MSU had a rodeo club I was really excited to get involved in it and learn a lot more about the sport of rodeo I hadn’t already known.”
The club does several different events throughout the school year, including the annual Spartan Stampede. It also hosts bonding events to help members of the group de-stress.
“We will do a couple of different parades, like the MSU homecoming parade and the Lansing Silver Bells in the City parade,” Drwencke said. “We’ll also do some other community outreach events like school visits. We’ll do things with 4-H or boy scouts and cub scouts and other organizations like that.”
Agribusiness management junior Claire Daugherty has been in the club for three years and said she has always had a passion for rodeo.
“I wanted to join because I’ve always been interested in rodeo and it was kind of hard finding ways to get into it and more involved,” she said.
“When I came up to State and found out there was a rodeo club that completely jumped to my attention and I really wanted to join, further that passion and really get more into it.”
The club welcomes any student with an interest in the sport, even if he or she is not able to compete because they are not a member of the .
Current club president and animal science senior Morgan Bowers has been in the club for three years and knew she wanted to be apart of a rodeo team in college, so she transferred from a community college in the Traverse City area to come to MSU.
“Within joining the team, I also got very actively involved in the club ... I kind of actually gave up the competition side and took over more of the club leadership side,” Bowers said.
Bowers said rodeo has always been a passion of hers, like many of the other members on the club.
“I actually grew up around horses, and for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a barrel racer,” Bowers said. “It’s always just been a passion of mine and that’s really what fueled my drive to do everything within the club. I just really enjoy the sport. It’s family friendly and my family would always travel with me when I would go to compete.”
Along with the club’s promotional events, demonstrations for girl and boy scouts, schools and parades, their biggest event is the ook place Feb. 17-19 at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.
The event is completely run by students. The proceeds of the rodeo are used to cover travel costs from MSU intercollegiate rodeo competitors. Drwencke said the club uses it to show spectators what rodeo is.
“Throughout the four performances we have multiple different events, we have a vendor area and then we pretty much go through and showcase and highlight the sport of rodeo,” Drwencke said.