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Story and Photos by Valerie Shelton, Editor
The Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Club hosted its only home competition of the season March 12-13 at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.
The best college-aged cowboys and cowgirls from the West Coast Region’s seven teams—Feather River, Cuesta, West Hills, Cal Poly, UNLV, Lassen and Fresno State—competed in bareback riding, bulldogging, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, breakaway roping, team roping, barrel racing, goat tying, steer wrestling and bull riding. The top 10 qualifiers in each event on Saturday night advanced to Sunday’s championships.
Fresno State cowboy Dillion Hushour earned a buckle for winning the steer wrestling championship. Fresno State rodeo athletes also placed in team roping. Heeler Rial Engelhart placed second in team roping with header Lane Lowry of Cuesta College, and the Fresno State team of header Bodi Dodds and heeler Colton Campbell placed third.
Fresno State rodeo coach Tony Branquinho said it wasn’t the team’s strongest showing, but he is proud that the team hosted a great competition.
“It is hard to compete to the best of your ability when you are putting on a function,” Branquinho said. “It is hard for me to coach how I want to and it is hard for them to perform because, for example the secretary for our club has to manage the awards, take pictures and still run barrels. The hardest rodeo you compete in all year long in college rodeo is your home rodeo because you are busy and you have so many other things going on but they did good. It wasn’t our best rodeo but we won steer wrestling and got second and third in the team roping and brought people back [to the top 10 championship performance] in almost every event so it was a decent showing.”
The Fresno State Bulldoggers Rodeo Club has 25 members, all of whom are welcome to compete but only six cowboys and four cowgirls make up the point-earning team. Branquinho has served as the Bulldoggers coach since the fall semester of 2015. He is the first full-time rodeo coach the team has had. Before coming to Fresno State, Branquinho coached rodeo for seven years in San Luis Obispo. He graduated from Fresno State in 1999 and did coach the Fresno State rodeo team briefly in the fall of 1999 and spring of 2000. Branquinho said he is happy to be back coaching at his alma mater.
Below are the results, listing the top competitors in each event:
Tie Down Roping
First: Lane Santos-Karney of Feather River
Second: Wyatt Brown of Lassen
Third: Colton Farquer of Cal Poly
First: Header Caden Lehman of West Hills and Heeler Edgar Machado of West Hills
Second: Header Lane Lowry of Cuesta and Heeler Rial Engelhart of Fresno State
Third: Header Bodi Dodds of Fresno State and Heeler Colton Campbell of Fresno State
First: Dillion Hushour of Fresno State
Second: Sterling Humphry of Cuesta College
Third: Wyatt Brown of Lassen
Saddle Bronc Riding
First: Quincy Crum of Feather River
Second: Will Centoni of Cuesta College
Third: Brant Grisedale of West Hills
First: Cassidy Barnes of West Hills
Second: Syndney Howard of Feather River
Third: Macey Cox of Cal Poly
Bull Riding (only two contestants)
First: Aaron Williams of Cuesta College
Second: Armando Fagliano of West Hills
First: Courtney Wood of Feather River
Second: Katherine Rice of Cal Poly
Third: Aspyn Civil of UNLV
First: Kayla Nichol of Cal Poly
Second: Ashley Martinkus of Feather River
Third: Jamie Giefer of Fresno State
Bareback Riding (only two contestants)
First: Clayton Biglow of Feather River
Second: Wyatt Denny of Feather River
For more photos, go to www.clovisroundup.com/gallery