HAYS, Kan. -- About 500 competitors from 25 colleges and universities across Kansas and Oklahoma will converge on Hays the weekend of April 21-23 to participate in the 51st annual Fort Hays State University NIRA College Rodeo.
Action in the Central Plains Region event will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Doug Philip Arena. The arena is located at the corner of 230th Ave. and Golf Course Road, about a half-mile west on Golf Course Road off U.S. Highway 183 Bypass.
Saturday’s performance also is scheduled for 7 p.m., with participants trying to quality for Sunday’s championship round at 1 p.m.
Participants will compete in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, goat tying, barrel racing, steer wrestling and team roping. They earn points in regional competitions throughout the season, vying for a top-three spot in the region to qualify for nationals.
The Fort Hays State rodeo team has several members still in contention to earn a berth to the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo, set for June 9-17 in Casper, Wyo.
Tickets for the Fort Hays State event are available for purchase at several locations in Hays: the Student Service Center in the FHSU Memorial Union; the FHSU rodeo office, Albertson Hall, room 213A; Orscheln Farm and Home Center, 2900 Broadway Ave.; and Vanderbilt’s Inc., 2704 Vine St., Suite A.
Prices for advanced ticket sales are $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 to 15. Tickets also can be purchased at the gate for $12 (adults) and $8 (children). Children 6 and under will be admitted free, as will FHSU students (with their Tiger ID card).