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Without Annual Gala, UW Rodeo Team Turns to Online Auction to Support Program

April 7, 2021

With the ongoing pandemic, the University of Wyoming rodeo team’s largest fundraiser -- the annual JCA Bucking Horse Gala -- had to be canceled earlier this semester.

Instead, the program is hosting an online auction that will raise money to support scholarships for the UW rodeo student-athletes, travel costs to the College National Finals Rodeo, and operating expenses of the overall program.

“UW rodeo student-athletes continue to take each challenge on with optimism, resiliency and a ‘do whatever it takes to move forward’ attitude,” UW Coach Beau Clark says. “It is not surprising that the items our students made or acquired through donations are above and beyond the past two years.”

People interested in supporting the UW rodeo program and student-athletes can visit the McPherson Auction & Realty Co. website here from April 10-24 to participate in the online auction. Participants can register bids at www.mcphersonauction.com.

UW rodeo team members put together 125 auction items that include exclusive hunting opportunities; leatherwork; handmade furniture; stud fees; clinics; and trips to Las Vegas, Nev., Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Laramie.

All purchased items are available to be picked up in Laramie or shipped to the winner’s home address. For more information, call UW rodeo women’s Coach Casey Reimler at (307) 299-0969.

“What makes the gala and this year’s online auction so special to the UW rodeo program is that the Wyoming community, our alumni and the UW campus have an opportunity to recognize the work of our student-athletes and support a unique athlete at UW,” Clark says. “Our students are such a great representation of what a student-athlete should be and what we hope they will represent as student-athletes. They should represent the brand of a university.”

He says the rodeo program’s brand is a bucking horse, the Code of the West, and the program’s 54 students are representative of the UW brand: cowboys and cowgirls.

When Clark first took over the UW rodeo program three years ago, he said the common theme he heard from people connected to the university was, “We are the Wyoming Cowboys, and we should have a great rodeo team.”

“And now, three years later -- thanks to the countless hours of practice from our students and commitment to schoolwork -- UW rodeo has one of the most elite rodeo programs in the country in terms of being nationally competitive in the arena and academics,” he says. “Our students win in the arena; they get really good grades; they graduate from UW; and they do it with resiliency, work ethic and class.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams lead the Central Rocky Mountain Region’s (CRMR) overall standings at the halfway point of the spring season, and both squads are in position to win their third straight regional titles. Overall, a UW team member is the leader in seven of the nine CRMR individual events.

“When you look at this past year, these students didn’t slow down for a pandemic; they found a way to take themselves and UW rodeo to another level,” Clark says. “We hope people will support the program’s student-athletes and what they represent.”

For more information, call Clark at (307) 766-2244 or email bclark25@uwyo.edu.

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