photo credit Joe R. Chance
Horses neighing, hoofs hitting the rails, spurs clicking against the ground, bulls stomping their feet while blowing snot out of their noses and calves calling for their mothers are common sounds the University of West Alabama’s rodeo team hears before competing against other universities.
Rodeo competitions are held with a variety of events in many different areas of the country. Major events include men’s all-around, bareback riding, bull riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, and goat tying.
UWA rodeo has set themselves apart from the teams of the past. Previous UWA wrangler and first year head coach Alex Caudle brought in some talent for UWA to compete. In the fall of 2013, UWA sophomore Zachary Wilson of Billingsley, Ala, won the Ozark Region Tie Down Roping Championship along with earning a national collegiate calf roping champion title.
The February 20 rodeo competition was located in Texarkana, Ark. at Cossatot Community College. The men’s team finished fourth overall in the Ozark Region falling behind to East Mississippi College (3rd), Missouri Valley College (2nd) and University of Tennessee-Martin (1st). Leading the team to its standing was senior Blade Elliot of Centreville, Ala. Elliot finished second in the bareback riding competition with a total of 144.0 points.
Also helping propel UWA rodeo was Wilson in tie down roping with a time of 22.2 seconds. The men’s team may have finished fourth in this competition, but this will not set the team back.
The men will compete again this year along with the women for a National Championship. Their next match up is March 6 at our rival’s home stadium the University of Arkansas Monticello.