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43rd Annual Rodeo to Showcase New Arena

By Melissa Klein
UWRF University Communications

SEPT. 6, 2007--Get out your cowboy boots and hats to celebrate the new rodeo arena at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls featured Sept. 14-15 at the 43rd Annual Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo.

Part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, the rodeo will take place on Lab Farm No. 1 on Wasson Road at the junction of Cemetery Road, just west of Highway 65 in River Falls. Performances are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1:30 and 7 p.m. Gates will open one hour before the performance time.

This year's highlights include a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new arena as well as the presence of Wisconsin Public Television, who will tape the rodeo for the "In Wisconsin" program.            

The W-W Livestock Systems Arena used at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame was purchased from the organization last fall. About $13,000 for the project was provided by the UWRF Student Senate with additional funds from the University and the UWRF Rodeo Club.

W-W Livestock Systems Arena, F & K Excavating, Inc., of River Falls, and Circle K Electric, of Prescott, provided materials and services for the installation and fabrication of the new arena at substantially reduced rates, said Tony Jilek, co-advisor of the Rodeo Club.  

The original arena was deconstructed by alumnus and River Falls resident Charlie Hanson, who helped install and construct the new arena and who donated a significant amount of time and money to the project. The new arena is valued at $120,000, and sponsorships opportunities are still available, said Jilek. Interested people can contact at the Rodeo Club sponsorship coordinator Rachel Tiedeman, 920-296-9270, .

A special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new arena is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 prior to the evening performance. UWRF Chancellor Don Betz, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Dale Gallenberg, as well as others involved in the project will be speaking at the event.

"I am very proud of the students who put the project together," said Nathan O'Connor, also a co-advisor for the Rodeo Club. "It is a great accomplishment for a student organization."

Advanced discount tickets (saving $1 per ticket) can be purchased at the University Center Heritage Hall or in the lobby in front of the dean's office Agriculture Science Hall on campus and the River Falls Journal office. Regular admission at the gate, which open one hour in advance, is $10 for adults, $6 for students and $5 for children ages 5-12. Group discount tickets for $6 are available for high school and junior high school student groups of 10 or more.

"We are the only rodeo in the Great Plans Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association to be fully operated and organized by students," says Ashley Horsch, who has been selected as this year's rodeo queen and who is a sophomore majoring in animal science from St. Joseph, Minn. "I believe it is a funded sport at some of the other college rodeos. Ticket sales, sponsorships from the community and fundraising events throughout out the year support our rodeo in its entirety."

According to Art Hackett, a producer for Wisconsin Public Television's "In Wisconsin," the UWRF Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo is tentatively scheduled to be broadcast Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. on channel 28 in Menomonie. The program is tentatively repeated on Sept. 23 at noon and Sept. 24 at 11:30 p.m.

Started in 1964, the UWRF Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo is the first and only collegiate rodeo east of the Mississippi. Located in the scenic St. Croix Valley of Minnesota and Wisconsin with a number of horse farms, UWRF has a nationally recognized horse science program, the first of its kind in a public university in the Upper Midwest. The program combines both theoretical and practical, hands-on teaching methods in a lab farm setting, says Jilek, who said most other academic programs focus on one area or the other. UWRF also has a colt-training program on campus with an annual sale and a summer horse institute featuring week-long and youth programs on various equine topics.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:27 Central Daylight Time


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