SWOSU hosts 45th annual NIRA Rodeo starting Thursday

SWOSU Sports
Doug Self, Sports Information Director

WEATHERFORD – The 45th Annual Southwestern Oklahoma State University Rodeo – featuring many of the best college rodeo teams in the Midwest – begins Thursday evening (April 6) at the B.O.P Ram Rodeo Grounds at Don Mitchell Arena in Weatherford.

The rodeo is a three-day event, sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and it has been named the Central Plains Region Rodeo of the Year each of the past two years by a vote of contestants and coaches. A total of three performances are scheduled: Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m. with the top 10 finishers in each event returning for the championship go-round on Saturday night.

A special “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” performance is scheduled for Friday evening. Spectators are encouraged to join the performers in wearing pink in support for cancer awareness. During Thursday and Friday night’s performances, five hide races will be held with contestants from the college teams competing to raise money to benefit the American Cancer Association and Cowboys for Cancer.

In collaboration with the City of Weatherford, the SWOSU rodeo draws nearly 500 cowboys and cowgirls competing for a wide range of prizes including money, buckles, spurs and a berth in the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo. Competition will be waged in nine different events that include team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, goat tying, barrel racing, bareback riding and bull riding.

Both of SWOSU’s Rodeo teams are currently ranked among the top four teams in the ultra-competitive Central Plains Region with three rodeos remaining in the season. Head Coach Mike Visnieski’s squad will compete against 15 regional institutions, with the Bulldogs considered to be one of the favorites at their event.

Tickets to the SWOSU Rodeo will cost $5 for adults per performance with SWOSU students being admitted FREE with their school ID.