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Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I get on the TSU Rodeo Team?
Rodeo is an open sport at Tarleton. As long as you pay your dues, maintain hours, grade point average and follow team rules you can be a part of the team. Everyone can enter the collegiate rodeo as long as they keep eligible, the points team will consist of 6 men and 4 women, which is determined by points accumulated after the first two rodeos. Those not on the team will keep their individual points, but they will not count for team points that week. After each rodeo, the  points team may change to reflect the total number of points each individual has accumulated. The only advantage to being on the points team is team members receive travel money.
What are hour requirements and grade point average requirements?
You must be enrolled in 12 academic hours per semester. This would not include PE Activity Courses.  You must COMPLETE 12 hours per semester and pass at least 9 hours. You must have an accumulative GPA of 2.00 or 2.00 from the previous long semester. You must PASS 24 hours per year. If you drop below 12 hours in a long semester, you cannot rodeo or you cannot rodeo the next semester. See NIRA rulebook at for complete rules.
What happens if I don't meet academic requirements?
The first and foremost reason for attending Tarleton is to receive a college degree. If you do not meet hour or GPA requirements you will lose your privilege to rodeo, privilege to practice at Tarleton, and scholarship.
How do I get started?

Contact the rodeo office with your intentions to rodeo. Incoming freshman must attend Tarleton Orientation during the summer. You are encouraged to attend the earliest possible orientation so you can get classes needed for your schedule.

There will be a general meeting on the first Monday night of classes each year to get memberships. Some things you will need will be a $75.00 for vest along with money order for $260.00* to NIRA for national dues, *(this increases almost every year, so contact the office in August for the exact amount).

You will also need to supply the rodeo office with any college transcripts where you have hours, even dual credit hours taken while in high school. If you are under the age of 21, you will need a fax number to fax a membership form to your parents or guardian for a release signature.

Failure to supply any and all of these things may delay you competing in rodeos.

Where are the rodeos and how are they run?

The rodeos are held at 10 schools across the Southwest Region of the NIRA which are Eastern New Mexico University, Sul Ross State University, Vernon College, Texas Tech, Odessa College, Howard College, Western Texas and Tarleton. Weatherford College and Ranger College combine on their rodeos as well as does West Texas A&M, Frank Phillips College and Clarendon College.

The entry fees are $40/event with a $20 per rodeo office charge. The rodeos pay 4 in rounds and average.

Generally, we have 5 rodeos in the fall and 5 in the spring, but may change from year to year. The rodeos begin on Thursday and end on Saturday night.

Are there scholarships for rodeo and how do I receive one?

There are rodeo scholarships available and the best way to receive one is to have the ability to do college level education work and success in the arena. The coaches and committee will look at what you have won, your SAT or ACT scores and grades to determine scholarships. Scholarships may vary from $500 per year to $9,000 per year. Students who are attending Tarleton who are not receiving scholarships or smaller scholarships will be considered first for new scholarships. Community college transfers and high school graduates with outstanding records will then be considered. (Collegiate Regional Champions, National Champions, etc.)

You must do the general scholarship application which you can complete online with the essay, checking rodeo scholarship. It is also good to send resume to the rodeo office.

Scholarships will be award in March 1 of each year.

Will I be excused from class to attend the college rodeos?

This is the instructors call. Instructors will be contacted informing them that you will be participating in college rodeos, but each one can have different attendance policies. It is the rodeo student’s responsibility to check this on the first day of class and make changes if necessary. Students need to keep teachers informed well in advance of planning to be absent.

Where can I keep my horse or horses, trailer?

The university has a practice arena with 36 stalls, which are available as scholarships to students. There is room to keep trailers at the arena. Students need home owners, trailer, or renters insurance to cover vehicles, saddles and tack. There are many places with arenas in the community to board horses. Cost varies from $35 to $100, with no feed or hay provided. Some furnish morning feedings.

Does the rodeo team travel together to the rodeos?

Each student contestant is responsible for his or her own travel and accommodations. However many students travel together to help save on expenses.

All students must attend a Safe Driving Seminar before attending their first rodeo.

What happens if I am hurt during rodeo competition?

Tarleton State University has no insurance on the rodeo team members and is not liable for any injuries. Students should know the risk of rodeo and traveling. Membership in the NIRA includes a secondary insurance policy for travel to intercollegiate rodeos, practice, and participation in approved rodeo. It will pay up to 80% of cost left after as student’s insurance has paid, but there is a deductible.

All students must have a primary insurance carrier.

What about practice?

Practice is available for NIRA members at the Tarleton practice facilities. Practice is 4 times per week with the exception of rough stock and barrels that are on Wednesdays.  There are 3 arenas so many events are worked at one time.

There is a set time to practice each event and will be followed.

Students must have primary insurance to practice and compete.

Students are expected to care for Tarleton equipment and livestock. Any rough or inhumane treatment to livestock, equipment or facilities can call for fines or disciplinary actions.

If student is not eligible to compete in NIRA rodeos then he cannot practice with team.

How do you qualify for the CNFR?

The top 3 individuals from each region qualify for the CNFR and the top two in the all-around. Also the top two teams qualify. Men’s team consists of 6 and women, 4.

Teams are filled with individuals in top 3 first, and then if spots are available, they are filled with the individuals with the most total points for our team.

What are other requirements?

Students must attend the team meetings.

Students are required to participate in fundraiser's.

Scholarship students who miss all or part of college rodeo due to participation in other rodeo event will be fined 10% of scholarship. (Starting with new students in 2007)

Students will sell at least one advertisement or sponsorship to NIRA rodeo.

All fines must be paid before 2 hours of draw out time of next rodeo.

Where can I find out more about the NIRA?

Go to the website at

For your information—

If you are a new freshman you must furnish THEA scores or exemptions.

If you are a transfer you must have made a C or better in math, English and reading intense course or take the assessment exams-ASSET, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER or THEA