CALS in the News
4.7K views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

For these U.A. young women, it’s not their first rodeo

For these U.A. young women, it’s not their first rodeo | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
By NATALIA V. NAVARRO

Arizona Sonora News



Tabytha Friend holds onto her hat in high winds while circling at the Wentz Point Arena in Marana, Arizons.(Photo by Rebecca Noble / Arizona Sonora News)Dust flies and cheers erupt over country music as a woman from the University of Arizona Rodeo Club enters the arena.

In 18 seconds it’s over.

The women in the UA Rodeo Club are trampling cowgirl stereotypes all year round in intense competition like the Wentz Point Arena Wednesday Night Jackpot Barrel Race early last month.

“When a lot of people think about cowgirls, they think of, like daisy dukes and tied up plaid shirts and it’s nothing like that,” said Tabytha Friend, a biology major and a transfer from Cochise College. “We probably get just as dirty as the boys if not dirtier. We do everything the guys do. We ride just as hard. We play in the mud just as hard.”

The UA hosts the oldest collegiate rodeo team in the country. The 78-year-old club consists of 14 college students who, for the most part, own, train and care for their horses by themselves.

[caption id=attachment_19416 align=alignright width=500] Shannon Torres on Sassy practices barrels at the Wentz Point Arena in Marana, Ariz. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Photo by Rebecca Noble / Arizona Sonora News)[/caption]

There are several events that are traditionally open only to men such as bareback riding and bull riding. However, in collegiate competitive rodeo, women actually compete in a larger number of events.

“There have always been women in college rodeo because of the extra events,” said Elaine Marchello, who is the UA Rodeo Club advisor and who also boards most of the students’ horses.

In fact, women have had opportunities in rodeo since earliest days of rodeo in the late 1800s, according to the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

“There are aspects that make it a men’s sport, but I feel like it’s for everybody, really,” said Shannon Torres, a member of the UA Rodeo Club. “Anyone who really has the heart for it.”

[caption id=attachment_19417 align=alignleft width=500] Shannon Torres leads her horse Sassy out of the trailer at the Wentz Point Arena in Marana, Ariz. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Photo by Rebecca Noble / Arizona Sonora News)[/caption]

The barrel race is the most popular among female riders. The competitors run their horses into a large arena, making cloverleaf pattern loops around three barrels as fast as they can. The fastest can do it in about 16 seconds. 

The best parts about rodeo are “the friendships and the families you create,” Friend said. “Your horse is like your best friend. It has to be or else you’re kind of screwed. We are more like a family.”

The women joke about being strong independent cowgirls, but their dedication to their sport has made them just that, Marchello said.

“I cannot say enough about how great these kids are,” Marchello said. “They are very polite, they clean up after themselves. They’ve learned how to be responsible because they have to care for these animals. It takes a certain dedication.”

[caption id=attachment_19419 align=alignright width=500] Tabytha Friend circles the arena at the Wentz Point Arena. (Photo by Rebecca Noble / Arizona Sonora News)[/caption]

Torres, a freshman studying veterinary science, has been doing rodeo for 12 years. She spends eight hours training and caring for her horse at Marchello’s 22-acre ranch during the school week and even more hours on the weekends.

She also works almost full-time to fund her rodeoing. During the summers, she travels to a fishery in Alaska during the salmon run where she works 100 hour weeks with no days off to help pay for her expenses.

“It’s what you do to keep your horse,” Torres said.

The UA rodeo women are no friend to the idea that rodeo is a men’s sport.

[caption id=attachment_19418 align=alignleft width=500] Shannon Torres rides Sassy around the arena at the Wentz Point Arena. (Photo by Rebecca Noble / Arizona Sonora News)[/caption]

“I feel like the industry almost comes off as closed,” Torres said. “You’ve got to be tough. We’ve all been bucked off. We’ve all had bad days. I feel like more women should be involved. It’s a little intimidating for some women to get into it. People think that if you aren’t raised doing it that you can’t do it but that’s wrong.”

In the end, rodeo is about the rider’s relationship with her horse.

“My horse is exactly like my best friend or even my child,” Friend said. “I take care of her and she takes care of me. She trusts me that I’m never going to lead her into danger and she doesn’t buck me off and hurt me -- so I think it’s an equal trade.”

##

Download high resolution images here.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Planning mitigates potential water crisis - Arizona Sonora News Service

Planning mitigates potential water crisis - Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
The looming specter of shortage on the Colorado River poses a serious concern for states relying on the precious source of water, but with foresight and planning, many parts of Arizona are prepared to endure for decades to come. Kelly Mott Lacroix, senior research analyst with the Water Resources Research Center at the University of …
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Mosquitoes threaten Arizona with new diseases | Arizona Sonora News Service

Mosquitoes threaten Arizona with new diseases | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it

Mosquitoes could carry new troubles to Arizona. Dengue Fever and a second disease, Chikungunya, have started to crop up in areas surrounding Arizona, putting researchers on high alert about the looming threat the diseases could pose to the state.



more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

New training to reduce pesticides in schools | Arizona Sonora News Service

New training to reduce pesticides in schools | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it

Some are vacuumed. Some are swept. Others are crushed, baited or trapped. The rest are kept out with caulk, window screens, door sweeps or, as a last resort, sprayed with chemicals.



more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Dog bacteria might benefit human health | Arizona Sonora News Service

Dog bacteria might benefit human health | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
Fido’s licks and tummy rubs just might be good for your …
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne disease to be worried about | Arizona Sonora News Service

Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne disease to be worried about | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

U.A. scientists make gardens for Mars - Arizona Sonora News Service

U.A. scientists make gardens for Mars - Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
Can humans grow food on Mars in the same way that Matt Damon’s character did in the popular new movie “The Martian”? University of Arizona scientists say yes, but not necessarily in the fashion that the hero of the story, Mark Watney, did. Researchers at the UA have been working for years on ways to …
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Los mosquitos amenazan a Arizona con nuevas enfermedades | Arizona Sonora News Service

Los mosquitos amenazan a Arizona con nuevas enfermedades | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it

Los mosquitos podrían portar nuevos problemas a Arizona. La fiebre del Dengue y otra enfermedad, Chikunguany, empezaron a surgir en áreas alrededor de Arizona poniendo a investigadores en máxima alerta sobre la inminente amenaza que la enfermedad podría traer al estado.



more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Scoop.it!

Community gardens take root in Arizona | Arizona Sonora News Service

Community gardens take root in Arizona | Arizona Sonora News Service | CALS in the News | Scoop.it

Community gardens in Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa, Flagstaff and other cities across the state are in full bloom, as part of city initiatives or through private organizations.



more...
No comment yet.