The Fort Hays State University rodeo team, after competing at its first rodeo of the season last weekend in Colby, now has a men’s team in 10th place and a saddle bronc rider in fourth place in the Central Plains regional standings.
Cody Hamm, freshman, was the sole point earner for Fort Hays, accumulating 85 points for the team by placing fourth out of 28 in the saddle bronc riding.
Hamm had a 69-point ride in the long-go round, the same score he had received once before on the same horse. That score set him in fourth place going into the short-go, or championship round.
Staying consistent, Hamm did the best he could with the bucking horse he had in the short-go and managed to make a qualified 67-point ride.
While the successful weekend put Hamm in the top of the standings, he says he got more out of the rodeo than just a placing in a list.
“I left Colby with many new friends and also learned how a college rodeo runs and all the rules,” Hamm said. “I think I’m going to have a great year in college rodeo. I hope I can make it to the College National Finals.”
Team roping partners Trevor Stucky and Ty Rumford, both seniors, had a time of 8.3 seconds in the long-go, which set them just shy of qualifying for the short-go by placing them in 11th place. Only the top 10 make it to the final round. In fact, the team was only 0.3 seconds from making it back.
“It motivated me to work harder in practices, and it kind of gave me the edge to push myself to make it over that bump to the short-go,” Stucky said.
Rumford said the fast run gave him confidence.
“Knowing that you’re competitive is huge for confidence, especially in this region,” he said.
Unlike many team roping pairs in college rodeo, Stucky and Rumford, competing for the same school, are able to rope together on a daily basis. Many partners come from separate schools and don’t have the ability to practice with each other.
“Trevor and I make a good team through our friendship,” Rumford said. “We are able to communicate with each other and help each other out.”
“Because we have the chances to rope with each other at practices, we both know what fits for each other,” Stucky said.
While Hamm, who competes on the roughstock end of the arena and has a score based on a points system, looks forward to covering his broncs to the best of his ability at the next rodeo, Stucky and Rumford compete in an event based on how fast and complete the job can get done.
So Stucky is sticking to speed. His plans for the next rodeo?
“Be smoking! My plan is to get out and make the best run on the steer we have. I want to compete against our last run,” he said.
“No mistakes – put ourselves in the best position we can to win,” Rumford said.
The team competes at its next rodeo Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 at Pratt Community College.