Bulldoggers rodeo team advances five qualifiers to nationals
(June 1, 2017) — The Fresno State club rodeo team has qualified five men’s and women’s competitors to the College National Finals Rodeo scheduled for June 11 to June 17 in Casper, Wyo.
Under the guidance of second-year coach Tony Branquinho, Fresno State will send four men’s qualifiers that include senior Dillon Hushour (Fairfield), junior Colton Campbell (Klamath Falls, Ore.) and sophomores Bodi Dodds (Sanger) and Rial Engelhart (Lakeview, Ore.).
Campbell will compete in the tie down roping and team roping events and ranks second and third in the region and 16th and 12th nationally, respectively. Hushour ranks 12th nationally and second regionally in steer wrestling; Dodds ranks 14th nationally in team roping header and third regionally; and Engelhart ranks third regionally in the tie down roping standings.
Fresno State women’s qualifier, junior Jamie Giefer (Springville), will compete in the breakaway roping category and ranks second regionally
Men’s and women’s individual qualifiers were selected based on their combined West Coast region season standings over eight competitions from September through the last event hosted on May 5 and 6 by UNLV.
In the regional team rankings, the Bulldoggers men capped the regular season ranked ninth nationally and third in the West Coast Region — one position shy of a national invitation. The women’s team stood fifth regionally.
In recent years, the women’s team has advanced to the national event after second-place regional finishes in 2015 and ’16.
Campbell is the top returning Fresno State national placer that will return to Casper after a fourth-place team roping healer finish in 2016. His horse, Nic-N-Pine, also received the 2016 NIRA/American Quarter Horse Association Horse of the Year award.
Hushour and Giefer also competed last year at the national event that featured over 400 entrants from 100 universities and 11 regions.
The Fresno State rodeo team dates back to 1946 and officially became a club in 1949 — the same year the first College National Finals Rodeo was held in San Francisco. Today, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association sponsors more than 100 college rodeos that include 3,500 student members and 137 universities.