Twenty bull riders are scheduled to kick off and close out the first day of competition this weekend during Mesalands Community College’s ninth annual Grand Canyon Region Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo.
“I do believe this is the largest number of entries for the bull riding competition for this event,” said Tim Abbott, Mesalands intercollegiate rodeo coach.
Abbott said there will be 185 contestants from nine different schools including Mesalands competing Friday and Saturday at the Quay County Rodeo Arena. He said the plan is to split the bull riders into groups of 10 and have them compete at the beginning and end of Friday’s competition.
Abbott said the 34 members of Mesalands’ rodeo teams have been looking forward to performing in front of a hometown crowd and having home-field advantage. He said the rodeo teams have been working hard this season.
“The teams have had some strong performances to start off the season,” Abbott said.
In their first rodeo of the season, Estancia sophomore Chace Valdez won the tie-down roping championship on Sept. 17 at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. Bareback rider freshman Scott Bevins from Amsterdam, New York, won the reserve championship and sophomore Arianna Assini from Oracle, Arizona, won the goat tying reserve championship.
On Sept. 24 Mesalands tie-down roper Justin Stegall of Morristown, Arizona, won the reserve title during the second rodeo of the season at the Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona.
Abbott said last year, Mesalands claimed the women’s reserve team championship and a bronc riding reserve championship at its home rodeo. He said several members of the men’s and women’s teams earned individual titles.
Abbott said the favorable weather forecast for Tucumcari this weekend has prompted event organizers to try something new. He said the championship round of competition will be held at 3 p.m., in a first-ever afternoon matinee.
“People will still get to enjoy 2 1/2 hours of championship rodeo competition,” Abbott said. “We are just going to give it to them in the glow of the New Mexico sun.”
The first rodeo performance will begin at 6 p.m., on Friday. Sack will begin at 9 a.m., Saturday with the championship performance starting at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors 55 and over, and children under 12 are free, accompanied by a paying adult.
There is no admission for slack.