With all the clubs at Dixie State University, no other club gives members the chance to participate in the sport of rodeo and interact with live animals like the Rodeo Fans and Athletes Club.
The club started this semester, and members hope to attract more students to join.
“The club was formed because, previously, there did not exist a niche for people who love to compete in, watch and learn about rodeo,” said Kyna Hafen, a junior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, and president of the club.
Baylee Bankhead, a freshman medical laboratory science major from Logan and vice president of the club, said there’s currently only two members who compete in college rodeo: herself and Hafen.
“Rodeo is a different sport from the rest,” Bankhead said. “We are a team, but Kyna and I still compete against each other individually, but we do compete together for team points.”
They compete against other universities all over the states of Utah, Idaho and Colorado, Bankhead said.
The first activity the club did together this semester included practicing roping on dummies.
Josie Mitchell, a sophomore dental hygiene major from Veyo and secretary of the club, said the club is still in the works because it was recently formed, but members have some activities in mind they would like to do.
“For right now, we are thinking about getting together when a rodeo is on TV or the [professional bull riders] and having dinner and enjoying each other’s company while watching,” Mitchell said.
Hafen said even if people don’t know anything about rodeo, they can still join the club if they’re interested in it.
Shaylee Snow, an adjunct biology instructor and adviser for the club, said DSU has a rich history with rodeo even though the club just started this year.
“Rodeo, ranching, and all things western are a huge part of this community’s history and heritage,” Snow said. “[Rodeo] is a tradition that keeps growing and one that we want to see flourish again.”
The club was most active on campus and in the community when Rudy Iverson was the coach, Snow said. During his time as coach, the athletic team was the largest in the region, which includes all of Utah, the southern region of Idaho, and parts of Colorado.
At the same time as Iverson’s coaching period, DSU also hosted the first-ever televised College National Finals Rodeo in the Dixie Sunbowl, Snow said.
“There are multiple schools across the country [that] have never sent a single student to the CNFR, but we continue to have competitors from St. George,” Snow said.
Snow said she hopes the club will unite those on campus who love the western lifestyle, horses, and those curious about rodeo or want to learn more about horses.
“You don’t have to wear boots to hang out with us,” Snow said.