It will soon be time to saddle up for an exciting new event during Homecoming and Family Weekend at Alfred State. The college will host its first bulls and barrels rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Most rodeo events evolved out of the necessary skills needed on a working farm, while bull riding and barrel racing developed into extreme sports long before the X Games. Riders in both sports prove their skills by racing the clock and against each other.
“Western New York has a rich heritage of family-owned farms where skills are taught from one generation to the next, but our campus also has a great number of students from the city who may have never seen a bull or horse in person,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Bull riding and barrel racing are high-speed and high-energy competitions that can appeal to all. We expect students, alumni, and families around the region will all come to see these crowd favorites.”
The bulls and barrels rodeo will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the intramurals field located between Pioneer Stadium and Orvis Activities Center. Bleacher seating will be available at ringside, and the adjacent tubing hill will provide a vantage point for families bringing a blanket to spread on the lawn. Tickets are available in advance at the campus bookstore for $5 or online www.alfredstatebookstore.com. Free admission goes to Alfred State students, children 12 and under, and anyone with a ticket stub from the 1 p.m. football game vs. Gallaudet.
“Western equestrian was just added as a varsity sport, showing our students’ strong interest related to this area, and some of our staff have been tough competitors,” Sullivan added. “Women’s Basketball Coach Gina Boyd and Director of Student Records and Financial Services Jane Gilliland are both accomplished barrel racers. It’s a tough sport that combines speed and finesse.”
Bull riders work to master their form, the overall quality of the ride and their ability to tame animals weighing more than 1,000 pounds, scoring points for each second that they stay on. In contrast, barrel racing highlights a partnership between animal and rider, in a test of the horse’s athleticism and mental condition along with the rider’s horsemanship skills as they maneuver through a cloverleaf pattern at top speed.
The call is out for International Bull Riders (IBR) and barrel racers to compete for cash prizes at the Alfred event. Each year IBR pays over $100,000 in prize money and awards to riders at rodeos across the northeast. IBR works to provide generous prize money, impartial judging, outstanding livestock, and crowd-pleasing victories. Broken B Rodeo of Dalton is coordinating the event. For a complete list of Alfred State Homecoming activities go to www.AlfredState.edu/alumni/events.