This year’s Buckles and Bling rodeo team fundraiser, with a meal, program, and auction items, will be Thursday April 6th with the social hour starting at 6pm. This annual event has grown to over 250 in attendance and a great way for SDSU Rodeo Alumni to visit while supporting their team. Questions, donations, or auction items can be directed to Coach Ron Skovly at Ronald.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo will be Friday April 7th @ 7 p.m., Saturday April 8th @ 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. held at the Swiftel Center 824 32nd Ave. in Brookings, SD. Tickets are on sale at the event, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com 30 days before rodeo. Contact the Swiftel Center box office at 605-692-7539 for more information. The 2016 Jackrabbit Stampede had 4831 in attendance in three performances, with the night performances within 100 seats of selling out. Advance tickets through the Swiftel Center Box Office or Ticket Master are advised to eliminate the long ticket lines before the performance times from years past.
The Jackrabbit Stampede has a very storied tradition and every SDSU rodeo alumni has a memory to share from the previous Stampedes gone by. The early days were remembered with inclement weather and a woven wire arena that had wood posts and lumber lining the top of the fence painted red and white. Many pictures of the early Jackrabbit Stampede show the fans packed in the outdoor stands bundled up from the cool night air and others lining the fence to get a closer look. Jim Thompson announced many college rodeos including the Stampede for years and knew every athlete that competed, sometimes embarrassing them with too much information. H.L. Hutchinson was the rodeo advisor for many years keeping the program running smoothly by dedicating many hours to the program.
The wood and woven wire has since been replaced with WW steel panels and new chutes painted SDSU yellow and blue. The outdoor arena is still used for practice sessions, but is no longer used for the Stampede due to the large crowds that enjoy the comforts of an indoor rodeo at the Brookings Swiftel Center. Sutton Rodeo’s are still providing great stock after all these years. In fact, with the combined efforts of Sutton Rodeo’s, the Swiftel Center, and the SDSU rodeo club, the Jackrabbit Stampede has been the Great Plains Region “College Rodeo of the Year” multiple times in the past decade. It is a fast moving and professionally run rodeo that is enjoyable to watch year after year.
The Jackrabbit Stampede is a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association approved rodeo that holds all the standard college rodeo events; Bareback Riding, Breakaway Roping, Tie Down Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Goat Tying, Team Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding. One other added event that is not held at every college rodeo is our SDSU Jackrabbit Stampede Ambassador Contest. Our rodeo ambassador is judged in many categories before representing SDSU Rodeo at other professional and amateur rodeos throughout the summer. This contest has been in existence from some of the earliest SDSU rodeos.
If you have not been to a Jackrabbit Stampede there is another one coming around the bend and maybe you too will have a story to take away like so many others have in the past. If you have a Jackrabbit Stampede story that you would like to share, e-mail coach Ron Skovly to share the memories with others.