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CSU rodeo ropes in new spring season

J.C. Flake from the University of Wyoming saddles his horse before the 68th annual Skyline Stampede in Fort Collins April 7, 2018.

The Colorado State rodeo team is saddled up for this spring season. 

After a strong season back in the fall, the rodeo team is excited to show off their skills in the next five upcoming rodeos.


“We have a lot of great kids to just hang out with, and most of my friends are from the rodeo team.” –Kelsey Story, rodeo team member

Their first competition of the season is March 15-17 at Gillette College, and their closest competition is the Skyline Stampede April 5-7 at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Colorado, which is organized by the students.

Opportunities for travel are plenty, as the team has rodeos in Colorado, Wyoming and even one in Nebraska.

Within the rodeo, they showcase a multitude of events, from tie-down roping to barrel racing, but there is no limit to how many events members can participate in.

The CSU rodeo team has about 20 competing members and is led by coaches Seth Peterson and Whitney Simmons.

Peterson has been coaching the rodeo team for two years now after receiving his education at Wyoming and moving to Wellington, Colorado, post-graduation. 

“(I) had the opportunity to help some of the girls, and things came together, and I started coaching,” Peterson said. “Everything worked out great.”

Peterson has helped out many athletes, including Kelsey Story, a sixth-year rodeo member who has been participating in rodeos since she was 9 years old.

Story is going into the season with a love for competing and spending quality time with both her horses and teammates. She said she has a better appreciation for the sport after she was unable to compete at one point due to a back injury in 2021.

“We have a lot of great kids to just hang out with, and most of my friends are from the rodeo team,” Story said. “I have a really competitive edge and love horses, so it’s a great combination of those.”


One of Story’s teammates is McKinlee May, a first-year from Bozeman, Montana, studying equine sciences.

May overcame a lot of anxieties around college competitions this past fall, as it was her first year competing at this level. May said she is excited for this upcoming season because she’s learned how to not get as flustered and is looking forward to having fun traveling and performing well. 

“I’m just going to go out there, do what I did at practice and not get so flustered,” May said.

May and Story aren’t the only ones heading into the season excited; Ral’Shaun Descheny is someone to watch out for. He is sitting third or fourth in the standings for team roping, Peterson said.

Although placing and competing well is exciting, Peterson talked about how the atmosphere is just a positive space to be in.

“Some kids don’t get the opportunity to rodeo after college,” Peterson said. “So it’s very neat for them to be able to experience everything, and the crowds get into it — it’s a lot of fun.”

Fans can follow along with the rodeo team on their website and their Facebook page.

Reach Kensey May at or on Twitter @rmcollegianspts.

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