Chadron State College will host the first rodeo of the 2022-23 school year in the Central Rocky Mountain Region this weekend (Sept. 16-18) at the Dawes County Fairgrounds.
Since at least 500 entries are expected, slack on Friday and Saturday will take place along with the two evening performances. The top 10 contestants in each of the nine events following that competition will advance to the finals on Sunday, when the champions will be crowned.
The slack sessions will begin at 1 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday. They are open to the public without charge. The evening performances will start at 7 p.m. those days. The finals will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, preceded by Cowboy Church at 8 a.m. in the fairgrounds grandstand.
The worship program is open to the public without charge and will include gospel music and inspirational messages.
Dustin Luper, who is beginning his 15th year as the Chadron State rodeo team’s coach, said that while several of the leaders on last year’s team graduated, he believes this year’s team will be competitive. He said he and assistant coach Lane Day worked hard to recruit some promising newcomers.
Bolstered by a 50 percent increase in the number of cowgirls, this year’s CSC team has 36 contestants, a half dozen more than a year ago. Eleven of the women are returnees from last year. They have been joined by five transfers and five freshmen.
Nine cowboys are back from a year ago to go with four transfers and two freshmen who have been added. The transfers include two Panhandle cowboys. They are saddle bronc rider Jack Skavdahl of Harrison and steer wrestler Tray Travnicek of Minatare. They previously attended Casper College and Eastern Wyoming, respectively.
Chadron State team leaders include the seniors. They are Phannette Gray, LaPlant, S.D.; Sierra Lee, Rhame, N.D.; Taryn Underwood, Crawford; Lance Dybdal, Seward, Neb.; Blaine Flack, Crawford; and Colton Storer, Arthur. Also returning is Parker Johnston, a junior from Maywood, Neb., the steer wrestling winner at last year’s CSC rodeo.
Among those helping make the CSC rodeo click will be announcer Sugar Ray Quinn of Rapid City, and bull fighters Gus Kronberg and Rowdy Moon, a former CSC bareback rider. The pickup men during the bronc riding will be Chad Brennan of Crawford and Justin Kissack, a Gillette, Wyo., native and a former College National Finals bareback qualifier while attending Chadron State.
Spud Creek Rodeo of Interior, S.D., will furnish the rough stock and the Haythorn Ranch at Arthur is providing the critters for the timed events.
General admission to the evening performances and the finals on Sunday is $10 per person except youths 12 and under will be admitted free. There’s also no charge for CSC students, employees and Golden Eagles, the retired CSC personnel.
The other rodeos in the Central Rocky Mountain Region this fall are Sept. 23-25—at Central Wyoming College at Riverton, Sept. 30-Oct. 2—at Sheridan College, Oct. 7-9—at Lamar College and Oct. 14-16—at Laramie County Community College at Cheyenne.