Utah Valley University Rodeo Program

The purpose of our program is to give cowboys and cowgirls a way to get an education. Rodeo is a unique sport in the fact that participants can rodeo on an amateur level whenever they like. Once 18 years old, they can rodeo professionally.

The love of rodeo is a deep driving force that consumes every thought of these UVU athletes. We provide them the opportunity to get an education while competing. Were it not for programs like ours, many of these athletes would graduate high school and enter the workforce without any thought of college.

Education Comes First

In our program education comes first. If an athlete misses a practice to study for a test or get homework done, they are not penalized. We do have some students who come to UVU just to rodeo at a collegiate level, but the majority of them graduate with a degree and secure good careers.

Students have to take at least 12 academic credits a semester. We encourage them to take 13-15 credits each semester.

Student Finances

We have 11 full tuition scholarships that we are able to give out. Depending on the needs of the year, we may divide these scholarships into multiple smaller amounts. This allows us to serve more students participating in the rodeo program. We are in the process of setting up a funding program that will allow us to give more of these rodeo athlete scholarships.

Along with scholarships, our program is set up to make the rodeo aspect affordable for our students. We have a semi and refrigeration trailer (converted into a horse trailer) to transport students' horses. We also pay for motel rooms when traveling for collegiate competitions. This saves students money, so if they choose to travel with the team for rodeos, they only pay for their entry fees and meals.

Our Rodeo Region

The UVU Rodeo Program belongs to the Rocky Mountain Region in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). We have 11 teams in our region which stretches from Twin Falls, ID to St. George (north to south) and from Utah to Rangely and Grand Junction, CO (east to west). Each region in the NIRA has 10 rodeos a year. The top 3 athletes in each event qualifies for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, WY.

In 2016 UVU rodeo members Brady Pitchford won the tie down roping for our region and Wyatt Caldwell won the steer wrestling and the All Around for our region.

In 2014 our women’s team qualified and Jacalyn Austin ended up 3rd in the breakaway roping, 5th in the goat tying, and Reserve Women’s All Around in the nation. While Shaylee Thacker ended up 10th in the breakaway roping in the nation, our women’s team ended up 7th in the nation that year.

In 2012 we had two National Champions: Ben Carson in the steer wrestling and Tag Elliot in the bull riding. Our men’s team ended up 3rd in the nation that year.

Our Sponsors 

UVU Bookstore
Arrowhead Vetrinary Clinic

Get Involved 

Let us know you are interested in joining the Rodeo Team.








History

Utah Valley University's rodeo program was the first athletic program the school experienced. The rodeo program was founded in 1968. UVU has had World Champions such as Lewis Feild and Wesley Silcox participate in the rodeo program. National Champions have participated on our team such as Dustin Durfee (team roping), Elisa Nielson (barrel racing), "Stormy" Lance Sagers (bronc riding), Kaycee Feild (bareback riding), Ben Carson (Steer Wrestling), and Tag Elliott (Bull Riding).

2017

Our women's team won Reserve Champion Women's team in the region, Whittney Dansie was reserve champion in the Goat Tying, Shaylee Thacker was reserve champion Breakaway Roper.  Our men's team Riley Clyde ended up 3rd in the Bareback Riding in the region, Kade and Brady Pitchford ended up 3rd in the Team Roping, and Rhett Nielson won the Bull Riding.

A herd of bulls

2016

UVU had three region champions, Wyatt Caldwell won the Steer Wrestling and the Men’s All Around and Brady Pitchford won the Tie Down Roping.  Wyatt Caldwell ended up 15th in the nation in the Steer Wrestling and 21st in the nation in the Tie Down Roping. 

2015

Riley Clyde won 2nd in the bareback riding in the region.  Riley broke his wrist a couple of weeks before the college finals.  He got on his first horse at the finals with a cast on.

2014

Utah Valley University women’s team was reserved region champions. Jacalyn Walker won the goat tying and qualified in the breakaway roping, BayLee Kuchar and Shaylee Thacker both also qualified in the breakaway roping to represent UVU at the College National Finals. On the Men’s team Dallin Kemp won the region in the tie down roping and Jace Austin placed 3rd in the steer wrestling to represent UVU at the College National Finals also. Jacalyn, Shaylee, and Jace all made the short go, Shaylee ended up 10th in the breakaway, Jace was 11th in the steer wrestling, and Jacalyn placed 3rd in the breakaway roping and 5th in the goat tying. Placing in two events helped Jacalyn win the Women’s Reserved All Around Champion along with Horse of the Year awards. UVU Women’s team placed 7th in the nation.

2013

Utah Valley University rodeo team was represented at the College National Finals by Jamie Christensen, Jace Austin, and Mckay Taylor. Jamie was 2nd in the region in the breakaway roping, Jace won the region in the steer wrestling, and Mckay Taylor was 2nd in the team roping. Both Jamie and Mckay made the short go at the College National Finals, with Jamie ending up 12th in the nation in breakaway and Mckay placing 9th in the team roping.

2012

Our men's team qualified along with Mckenzie Zollinger representing our women's team. Two of our men's team made the short go. Ben Carson end up the National Champion Steer Wrestler, while Tag Elliot ended up National Champion Bull Rider. As a team we ended up 3rd in the Nation.

2011

Our men's team qualified, with three of them making the short go. Brock Winn ended up Reserve Champion Bronc Rider, while Ben Carson ended up 3rd in the Steer Wrestling.

2010

Our men's team qualified for the CNFR again and two of our women qualified individually. We had five of our eight athletes make the short go. Hilary Bair was 3rd in the nation in the Goat Tying, with our women's team ending up 12th in the nation again.

2009

Both our men's and women's teams qualified for the CNFR, with our women's team ending up 12th in the nation.

2008

The men's team placed 5th in the nation.

2007

The men's team placed 2nd in the nation. Taylor White placed 3rd in the nation in bull riding and reserve all-around cowboy. Bud Munns placed 2nd in the nation in bareback riding.

Photos