Western Nevada College’s adjunct instructor Jesse Mark Segura is forming a rodeo club at the Fallon campus and team this year and has the experience to make it happen.
“I was over at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., and I saw this would be a nice place to have a college rodeo team,” Segura said of Fallon. “There’s a lot of support in the community a lot of people in the AG industry, farmers and ranchers who would like to support it and be part of it.”
Segura was at Feather River for 12 year prior to joining WNC’s teaching staff, planning to start the team as a club sport and give it a chance to grow.
“We’ll have 12-20 students in the program and to have a points team it only takes 10, usually six guys and four girls,” he said. “Getting started this first year we’ll just try this and see where it goes. We have some pretty good students coming and it should be good.”
Segura’s men’s team at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif., won the National Finals College Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., last year, an optimistic aspect of Fallon’s upcoming team since part of that winning group is coming over with Segura, including Clayton Biglow from California and his travel partner Wyatt Denny among the big names.
“We started the recruiting process a little late in this year, but we’ll have a pretty strong women’s and men’s team,” Segura said. “We have a couple girls from the Fallon area who are going to be on the women’s team. Half our students will be from Nevada, and the other half will be from out of state this year. We’re kind of behind the curve on recruiting since we didn’t start until the late summer so we’re just going to give it a try and we should hopefully have a team on either side which can compete on the regional level and be one of the top teams in the region.”
Some of the local names who plan to compete for the women’s team include Kayla Norcutt and Sydney Howard, both known from the circuit and appearances at several Fallon rodeos through the years. The rough stocks will be a stronger event for the upcoming team, Segura said, given that the team is built of rough stock riders, while the women’s team will be more all-around with multiple events. Segura said he plans for the WNC Rodeo club to compete at the 10 regional college rodeos and have a strong presence by May to qualify for the college finals in June.
As a new team, the club will also be run as an extension of the Western Heritage Preservation Society, Segura’s non-profit organization of three years is dedicated to spreading awareness and education in agriculture, hunting, farming and other rural lifestyles under one social media platform reaching out to uninformed/undereducated demographics.
“What we try to do is put a positive face on the people actually out there working and providing food and supplies for our nation,” Segura said of a big idea starting to get some ground. “The rodeo program is a part of it where members go to elementary schools across the nation teaching young students about agriculture, livestock management, and other rural skills. Professional athletes act as ambassadors with farm and ranch experience that appeal.”
Though there is no set schedule for the club, meetings will begin between September and October. The club is a self-funded program, Segura said, while looking for a budget for travel and other amenities. It will likely be supported by membership fees and donations without formal college funding. Those interested in being involved with the club can contact Segura at email@example.com.
“We have some really top quality students coming here who have big offers to go to other schools, so we’re trying to hold our own and start out by having a top quality team,” he said. “To do that we have to provide scholarship money and things like that, so we’re looking for any kind of help we can get.”