What happens when you pit a 1,600-pound bull against a 150-pound cowboy? The result is a white-knuckled, adrenaline-fueled, heart-stopping frenzy that can only truly be experienced in-person.
The public will have the opportunity to get in on the action during the Mid-Plains Community College Stampede on Sept. 15-16 at the Wild West Arena in North Platte.
The Stampede will set some of the toughest cowboys and cowgirls in the region up against the rankest livestock on the circuit. Performances will begin at 7 p.m. each night.
“The Stampede will give people a chance to watch the next generation of professional rodeo athletes,” said Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach. “Some of them have even competed at the professional level, so audiences will be in for a treat. Last year, our team won the rodeo, members really stepped up, and I expect the same thing again this year.”
The MPCC Stampede is a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association-sanctioned event. It’s also a qualifying rodeo – meaning any points contestants earn count toward an end of the year shot at nationals.
Thirteen collegiate rodeo teams from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin are expected to compete.
Admission is payable at the gate. It’s $10 for adults and free for children 10 and younger. This year, a group of select individuals will also receive tickets for free.
More than 500 tickets will be given to students in Kids Klub and those planning to participate in the Partner Up Rodeo on Sept. 20. The Partner Up Rodeo gives children with special needs the opportunity to experience life as a cowboy or cowgirl for a day.
“Each of the kids will receive a pair of tickets to the Stampede,” said Elliott. “We want them to be able to take a parent and watch a good rodeo for free. That will give the Partner Up kids a chance to see their heroes compete – then they can learn from them the next week.”
Kids Klub members will be at the Wild West Arena on the afternoon of Sept. 15 learning how the roping box works, how cattle are loaded into a chute and what a bull looks like from the perspective of a rough stock rider among many other things.
All of the children will be treated to a free dinner and watermelon feed before the first Stampede performance. They will also have an opportunity to meet and get autographs from MPCC Rodeo Team members as well as local rodeo queens.