NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University rodeo team has gained a competitive advantage in the arena thanks to a spur board and mechanical bucking machine donated by a group of 31 SFA Rodeo Club alumni and past coaches.
“We’re just grateful and blessed that we now have the support we’ve longed for in regard to making sure our program continues to excel,” said Rachel Clark, SFA coordinator of student publications and Rodeo Club advisor and team coach.
Clark explained that the spur board is an A-frame structure that allows competitors who ride bareback, saddle bronc or bulls, known as roughstock riders, to practice their form and spurring technique without the use of livestock. The mechanical bucking machine provides the same experience while also mimicking the movement of a bucking bull or horse.
The donors, comprising alumni from across Texas, independently launched the donation campaign and raised $4,000 to purchase the equipment without the knowledge of Clark or Rodeo Club members.
“These pieces of equipment are just more pieces of the puzzle that help us recruit top-notch students to come to SFA for the academics and the rodeo program,” Clark said.
The equipment is housed at the Equine Center located at SFA’s Todd Agricultural Research Center.
“We are getting interest from roughstock riders to come, so the fact that we have these pieces of equipment makes it a lot easier for them to actually commit to SFA because they have the means and the equipment to practice on and be prepared,” Clark said.
To learn more about the SFA rodeo team, contact Rachel Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or (936) 468-468-3770.