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CMU rodeo rides with new coach, hosts annual collegiate rodeo contest

Annual Steer Stroll event marks the team's cross-campus annual cattle drive

Grand Junction – The Colorado Mesa University rodeo team will host the seventh annual Rocky Mountain Regional Intercollegiate Maverick Stampede Rodeo on April 12-13 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Numerous National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association-sanctioned teams will compete during the event with over 150 riders representing more than ten universities and colleges from around the west. 

CMU will kick off the rodeo weekend festivities on Thursday, April 11, at 11:45am with the rodeo team’s annual Steer Stroll. The stroll is one of the most entertaining on-campus events of the year as the team drives a herd of cattle across campus for students to observe. 

The team’s new coach believes rodeo is an important theme for CMU ranging from the university’s mascot to the history of the west and CMU’s surrounding communities. In this regard the festivities before and after the rodeo are an important part of celebrating that history, even for students not involved in rodeo. 

Branden Edwards is the new CMU rodeo team head coach and is also a CMU alumni. He believes his role as coach is a pathway not only to giving back to CMU but also to bring awareness to programs he believes harbor elements of traditional western culture including agriculture, construction, energy management and engineering. Edwards believes that the event festivities are a fun but meaningful way to show off a bit of local heritage. 

“It’s a lot of fun for the team but even more fun for students,” said Edwards. “Many students are from urban areas or places where rodeo isn’t as prominent of a sport. This is a chance for our team to get everybody out to the fairgrounds and show them what it is that we do as athletes and why we do it.” 

The official rodeo starts at 7pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday. A slack performance will occur Saturday morning at 8am. Events include bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Finals on Saturday pit the top ten qualified contestants from each event against each other. 

Following the rodeo is the year-end regional awards banquet held at the Maverick Pavilion at 7pm on April 13. Admission to the banquet is $10 and includes dinner and a silent auction benefiting the rodeo team. 

Rodeo tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors, active military personnel and veterans. Children ages five and under are free. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or online at https://www.supportingcmu.com/events/maverick-stampede

Members of the media and public are encouraged to attend the Steer Stroll where photo opportunities are available with the team and their mascot during the Steer Stroll.

 

Maverick Stampede Rodeo Poster

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Written by David Ludlam