Men's Rodeo Bronc rider is nationally ranked, women's team on verge

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Men's Rodeo Bronc rider is nationally ranked, women's team on verge

The resurgent women’s and men’s rodeo teams at California State University, Fresno head into their final fall semester competition in Coalinga this weekend, Nov. 17 and 18, with an eye on national rankings.

The Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Club men’s team member John Gragnani is currently tied for 21st in the nation in saddle bronc riding.

The women’s team already broke through earlier this season when it was ranked 24th in the nation by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. But the club’s national rank has since slipped primarily due to limited competition thus far, reports coach Art Parham, a Fresno State animal science and agriculture education professor who serves as club adviser.

However, the two Fresno State teams, which compete in the West Coast division, have achieved regional status with the women currently ranked second and the men fourth.

This weekend’s rodeo at West Hills College in Coalinga is the final one of the fall season for the clubs and Parham expects the Bulldoggers to return to its place among the nation’s elite collegiate rodeo teams before action resumes in the spring.

Open to all Fresno State students, the Bulldoggers Rodeo Club sponsors the intercollegiate rodeo men’s and women’s teams that compete in ten college rodeos in California each year – three in the fall and seven in the spring.

Earlier this semester, the club competed in rodeos at Lassen College and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

In the spring semester, the Rodeo Club also sponsors its own annual intercollegiate rodeo, held the past 51 years in Fresno, as well as social and fundraising events.

The Bulldogger Rodeo Club practices at its new on-campus rodeo arena four nights a week in the new Animal Science Pavilion on Barstow Avenue or in the outdoor arena on Woodrow.

Men’s events are team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Women’s events are barrel racing, break-away roping, team roping and goat tying. Horses are boarded on and off campus.

For more information, contact Parham at (559) 278-2971. For rankings: www.collegerodeo.com.