UNL Rodeo Team Debunks Stereotypes

A calf at a rodeo.

Feb. 25, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Rodeo Team is a lot of things, but it might not be what you'd expect.

Not everyone on the team is an animal science major looking to go back to the ranch. In fact, only one person on the 23-person team fits that description.

Only 61 percent of the rodeo team are animal science majors and 17 percent of the team consists of non-ag majors.

There are more females on the team than males and 35 percent of the team is part of the Greek system.

Sophomore business management major Lindsay Adamson of Cody, Neb. says she thinks most people would be surprised to learn that.

"I think there are a lot of misconceptions about rodeo," Adamson said. "We aren't all a bunch of hicks."

Adamson explained that in rodeo, relationships between opposing teams are stronger than in other sports.

"Even though we are competing against other teams, we want them to do well," she said. "All competitors put in hundreds of hours of preparation and all deal with the variables of their own horse, the stock they drew, the ground, you name it; when someone successfully puts it all together, there’s encouragement all around, no matter which team they represent."

Bump Kraeger, one of the UNL Rodeo Team's coaches, said that rodeo teaches many valuable life lessons including control of one's emotions and perseverance.

"If you don't try your hardest you are almost guaranteed to fail," Kraeger said, adding that rodeo gives a person permission to fail, something not found in most activities.

"Even when you are trying your hardest you may still fail, you may get bucked off your horse," he said, referring bronc riding, one of six men's events.

Adamson said that in rodeo, the horse is a teammate.

"You have to get muscle memory down and be mentally and physically strong," she said.

Information about the next rodeo: The Great Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association will be in Lincoln on April 18-19 at the Lancaster Event Center for a rodeo hosted by the UNL Rodeo Club.

Bump Kraeger
UNL Rodeo Club Coach

Heather Haskins
Student Writer

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service

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