Country music, cowboy boots and rowdy cheers — these are just some of the sights and sounds that filled the stands at the 81st annual Poly Royal ARodeo finals held on Saturday April 15th.
More than 3,000 people gathered at the Cotton Rosser Rodeo complex to view the winners of the individual events.
Animal science sophomore Gracie Anderson participated in the team roping event and says no matter the final score the rodeo is most importantly a learning experience.
“The first day was a little rough but on the second day, my team and I really pulled it together and I broke my best time ever in breakaway, so I feel really good about it, honestly I had a great time,” Anderson said.
Aside from breakaway, Anderson also participated in the team roping event with her roping partner Sydney Goldwyn, a dairy science sophomore.
The event requires two skilled ropers to catch a steer by roping the head and back legs of the animal.
“I think it’s really cool that I get to be in the only event where guys and girls compete equally in, I think that’s a really good experience that we get to compete together and against each other,” Anderson said.
Other events included saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and bareback riding.
Aside from locals and prospective families, many Cal Poly students attended the final performances including Lucy Kelly, a graphic communications junior, who says Cal Poly’s rodeo is something specific she looks forward to every year.
And for others, like psychology junior Laura Deroy, it’s all about the rodeo atmosphere.
“It’s fun to dress up, get in the spirit, the country spirit, yeah all around a good time,” Deroy said.
Cal Poly rodeo students ended up winning five of the individual events on Saturday and both the men’s and women’s rodeo teams won the all around competitions.
The festivities ended with a musical performance by country music duo, Thompson Square, right outside of the rodeo arena.