Nearly 600 cowboys and cowgirls from colleges and universities across Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri will pull into the city of Hays for the Fort Hays State University Rodeo beginning Friday, April 20, and running through Sunday, April 22. Add in alumni, coaches, families and friends, and that 600 will translate into 1,500 to 2,000 people stampeding the streets of Hays.
The rodeo will be at the Doug Phillip Arena on Golf Course Road, just off of the U.S. 183 bypass in Hays.
Featuring the events of bareback riding, calf roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding, a variety of talents will flood the arena.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the short-go, or championship round, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Slack will be at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday. With so many entries, only a fraction can be put into the performances, so slack is when all the others compete. It is free of charge.
A costume ribbon roping, which tests a cowboy's and cowgirl's teamwork and athleticism while producing laughs, is planned for Friday night.
"One has to rope a calf with a ribbon on its tail, and the other one has to get the ribbon off the tail and run across the finish line," said Bronc Rumford, rodeo coach.
Teams will do this while wearing the costumes of choice.
Saturday's performance will feature the infamous "Wild Ride," in which cowboys ride a bucking horse in costume, and the winner is whoever makes the wildest ride. FHSU's rodeo has seen a variety of entries, including Victor E. Tiger (the FHSU mascot) and Nintendo's Mario and Luigi (at the same time) among other creative and curious costumes.
A Cowboy Church service, hosted by Dale Hirschman, will be at 10 a.m. Sunday at the arena. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Tickets for the rodeo are $8 in advance and $12 at the gate for adults, $5 in advance and $8 at the gate for ages 7 to 18, and free for children 6 and under and for FHSU students with a Tiger Card. Tickets are available at the Student Service Center in the Memorial Union on the FHSU campus, Orscheln's, 2900 Broadway, and Vanderbilt's, 2900 Vine.
"The rodeo will be full of entertainment, horses and action," Rumford said. "It will be a great place to spend some time this weekend."
For more information, contact Rumford at 785-628-4689 or 620-694-0380 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.