Most people know that Utah Valley has soccer teams, basketball teams, a volleyball team, golf teams and many more. But did you know that UVU also has a rodeo team consisting of 21 talented cowboys and cowgirls?
The Wolverines compete in the Rocky Mountain Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and they recently hosted an event in their own backyard. On Oct. 4-5, the men and women of the UVU Rodeo team participated in a variety of events at the Spanish Fork fairgrounds.
The men had individuals compete in bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding and bull riding — the women competed in breakaway roping, goat tying and barrel racing.
Cowgirl Emmalee Dubois, a junior studying business management, has been with the rodeo team since her freshman year. Goat tying is her specialty, but she also competes in barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Dubois has been riding horses as long as she can remember, whether on her mom’s lap or on her own. “My parent’s both did rodeo in high school and a little bit in college too, so I’ve been doing rodeo ever since I could walk,” she said. She grew up in Lehi, Utah, so UVU was not only a close choice, but an easy choice, considering the reputable rodeo program.
Dubois has “tied” her way to first place thus far in goat tying with 600 points, and has herself a nice 275-point cushion between herself and second place. Fellow teammate Jaicee Lynn Bastian isn’t far behind her, sitting in third place with 300 points. To go along with her first place in goat tying, Emmalee currently stands in ninth place in breakaway roping.
This UVU-hosted rodeo was the fifth and final competition of the team’s fall season — the remainder of the season will continue in March of 2020, with three more rodeos to look forward to. Both the men’s and women’s teams took first place in the UVU-hosted rodeo. In the season, the men are currently in second place and the women sit atop the leaderboard in the region.
“Our team is a lot of fun and we are all super close,” said Dubois. She expressed how much fun the rodeo team has together at practice and in their competitions. Even telling stories about attempting to make viral rodeo videos during practice.
Dubois takes great pride in her horses and actually uses two different quarter horses, depending on the event. George is her go-to for barrel racing and Dunny\for goat tying and breakaway roping.
Being on a horse and competing in rodeos is a huge part of Emmalee’s life. “I can train all of my own horses and I can train for other people and I can give people lessons.” She can really do it all. Her dream would be to turn her love for horses and rodeo, along with her skill set, into a career after college. She admits it’s not the most stable of career choices, which is where her business management degree will hopefully come in handy.
All-in-all, Emmalee is just your regular UVU student. She just happens to own a couple of horses, be a member of the UVU rodeo team and have some amazing goat-tying skills.
To learn more about the rodeo team, see some great action shots and even apply to be on the team, visit https://www.uvu.edu/rodeo/.