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Rodeo Club Purchases New Arena

By Kendra Knutson
UWRF News Bureau

OCT. 9, 2006--For the past 42 years, the outdoor rodeo arena on Campus Lab Farm No. 1 at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has served the annual rodeo event well. But after more than four decades of pounding hooves and rough riding as well as thousands of fans streaming through, the arena has been showing its age more and more.

Members of the UWRF Rodeo Club said the arena's location in a low spot exposes it to excess water runoff from the farm, and that has seriously decayed the wooden structure.

"It was too much maintenance, it didn't make sense to keep replacing posts and boards all the time," explained Mitchell Whyte, the Rodeo Club's vice president and a junior animal science major from River Falls. So the club decided to start looking at replacement options.

First, they applied for a grant from the UWRF Student Senate and received $13,000. Then a UWRF alumnus from Colorado who knew what the club was looking for called one day about an available arena at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame that might fit their needs. The club placed a phone auction bid of $10,000, and two hours later were confirmed as the winning bidder.

The next day they found out that the arena would need to be taken down and moved by that weekend. Dan Baugh, a Rodeo Club member an sophomore crops and soils major from River Falls, along with alumnus Don Hamlin, drove out to Colorado, disassembled the arena and brought it back to River Falls.  

The W-W Livestock Systems Arena is portable and made of galvanized steel panels in 8-foot, 10-foot, or 12-foot segments, which link together.  

Whyte said that the club is applying for additional grants to raise the arena area and install drainage ditches. It also plans to acquire the assistance of the agricultural engineering department in surveying and mapping the area.

Rodeo Club members will reassemble the arena. If all goes well, Whyte said, the club expects to start making the changes in order to get the arena up next year, in time for the start of the 2007 UWRF Falcon Rodeo.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:39 Central Daylight Time


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