There’s a new team on the roster for the University of Kentucky, one with barrels, bulls, roping, wrestling and a whole lot of enthusiasm by a group of students who have worked hard to put their dreams into reality.
Housed within UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment student organizations, the UK Rodeo Team joins an accomplished stable of equine clubs and teams available to UK’s student body. The team practices at Kismet Farm in Paris and is open to all students, with or without prior rodeo experience.
The team’s stated mission is to promote and develop the sport of rodeo at UK, providing students with the opportunity to further pursue this sport educationally and competitively at the intercollegiate level.
“I am really excited that this has become an opportunity for our students to learn about the sport of rodeo,” said equine science and management junior Kyle Karadak, the team’s vice president and one of its founding members. “Since rodeo showcases a different perspective of the horse industry from what is typically known in Central Kentucky, we hope the team will help broaden students’ awareness and give them a unique experience they can use in the future.”
One of the main goals of the team is to give its members the chance to participate in activities covering every aspect of the rodeo industry, from learning about rodeo in general to competing as part of the team. The team plans to become part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association in 2014, and organizers are using 2013 to form the team and recruit members.
“I’m so proud of our students for their initiative and proud to serve as their advisor,” said lecturer and internship coordinator, Elizabeth LaBonty. “Rodeo is such a great sport and it offers tremendous opportunities for our students to learn, compete, have fun and build relationships with each other and the community.”
Dues start at $25 a semester. Additional fees depend on the specific event students choose. Barrel racing, roping, goat tying or steer wrestling cost $150 per semester. Bull riding starts at $500 per semester.
The team has already lined up one fundraiser. In conjunction with the Oleika Shriners Rodeo at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena Nov. 22-23, Lexington’s Austin City Saloon will be giving a portion of its cover charge proceeds to the UK Rodeo Team.
“We’re excited to meet everyone who wants to support the UK Rodeo Team at Austin City Saloon,” said LaBonty.
Those interested in learning more about the team can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the team, including upcoming clinics and events, can be found by visiting http://equine.ca.uky.edu/node/321.
Elizabeth LaBonty or Holly Wiemers, 859-257-2226