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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Rodeo team brings mechanical bull to the Junction

Rodeo+team+brings+mechanical+bull+to+the+Junction
Josh Hughes | The Reflector
Rodeo team brings mechanical bull to the Junction

The Junction has once again proven itself to be a place of utter intrigue on Mississippi State University’s campus. The MSU rodeo team hosted a fundraiser in the Junction on Oct. 25, rousing a sensational crowd with the use of a mechanical bull.
The bull stood proudly in front of Davis Wade Stadium, covered by brown and white dappled faux fur, ready to deliver defeat to whichever hubris-stricken student approached. There were 50 contestants, each of which were rapidly beaten by the machine and tossed into the inflatable area surrounding it.
Joy Nabors, a graduate communication student and Starkville native, has served as president for the rodeo team for the last four years. For Nabors, rodeo runs in her blood.
“I grew up going to the college rodeos and hanging out with the team, so I knew I wanted to rodeo and represent MSU,” Nabors said.
According to Nabors, the team has been around for over 50 years, growing significantly larger in recent years. This growth is thanks in part to social media, as well as the creative, exciting ideas offered by club members. 
“I thought of the fundraiser last year, but we didn’t get around to doing it,” Nabors said. “I thought it would be a great way to give our organization recognition and a fun competitive way to give students a break.
The fundraiser offered participation at two separate price points. For $3, students were able to ride the bull for fun. For $10, however, students would be entered into the jackpot competition for either men or women. First place winners of both categories received a cash prize of $100 as well as a custom bejeweled belt buckle, which Nabors felt would be a unique prize for students who do not rodeo.
The women’s jackpot winner was Lidia Portera, a junior studying agricultural and animal science. Portera lasted 27.74 seconds atop the bull.
“When I first saw the flyer for the fundraiser, I jokingly told my friends that I’m going to win that buckle and money,” Portera said. “Really didn’t think I would win.” 
When asked if she had plans for her prize money, Portera stated that she wanted to try to save it, but it would probably be split between school expenses and taking care of her animals.
The men’s jackpot winner was Tres Ladner, a junior studying business. Ladner saw the event flyer on the rodeo team’s Instagram profile and immediately set his sights on the belt buckle.
“I have never ridden a bull, so I did not think I was going to do that well,” Ladner said.
In a stunning debut, however, Ladner stayed on the bull for an impressive 33.88 seconds. 
“I plan on spending the money at Academy on some new decoys before duck season,” Ladner said. 
Despite being an overall success for the rodeo team, the fundraising event had a rocky start. Scheduled to start at 11 a.m., students were unable to ride until about 2 hours later due to severe technical difficulties.
Although the bull did eventually start running, participants should have expected such a dilemma. After all, the bull holds a reputation for temperamental behavior.
Nabors did not provide specifics about how much money the fundraiser garnered, although did express disappointment over the amount being lower than expected due to the delayed start time. The money raised, however, will be put towards paying the team’s National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association fee which allows them to compete under MSU. Nabors is unsure about whether the team will attempt to lasso the robot bull once more.

About the Contributor
Haylee Morman, Staff Writer
Haylee Morman is a senior English major. Haylee is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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Rodeo team brings mechanical bull to the Junction