The CSU Rodeo Team worked the “Rodeo 101” booth during The Greeley Stampede last week, to focus on educating children and their families about the sport of rodeo.
Rodeo 101 was in the “Kids Korral,” where the Rodeo Team held quick sessions on the basics of rodeo such as roping, dallying, saddling a horse and barrel patterns.
After the kids had learned the basics, the Rodeo Team held “The Stick Horse Rodeo,” where the children paraded around the makeshift arena for the grand entry on their stick horses, and then made their runs in Barrel Racing and rides in Bronc Riding and Bull Riding.
“Teaching kids and families about rodeo has become increasingly more important as the years go by,” said CSU Rodeo Team President Kristen Grave. “With technology expanding, people’s perception of the agricultural industry is often misguided and misinformed.”
Grave said that it is important to educate the public about the sport to avoid misconceptions and stereotypes.
“Rodeo is a very controversial sport to an outsider because people don’t see the money, time, and extensive care that are invested into providing the highest level of care to the livestock in and out of the arena,” Grave said.
The CSU Rodeo Team puts significant focus on community engagement. Every spring the team holds the Skyline Stampede at the B.W. Pickett Arena in the Equine Center. They rely on the community and local businesses for support and funding to make the event happen. The Rodeo Team also volunteers for and participates in events such as Rodeo 101, pushing cattle for local cattle sortings and helping with other local rodeos and ranch rodeos.
Grave said that the team’s participation in community events helps to inform people and also increase the sport’s exposure.
“Through teaching kids about rodeo, we are essentially replacing the false information with truth,” Grave said. “Rodeo is a growing sport and without spectators, our growth is stunted.”
Collegian Reporter Jennifer Blanke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jennicoleblanke.