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NMSU To Host Rodeo April 29-30 at Fairgrounds

LAS CRUCES - The New Mexico State University women's rodeo team will compete for a top national ranking and a nationally known rodeo clown will entertain Friday and Saturday night at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds.

New Mexico State University rodeo team members Kayla Weiss of Great Falls, Mont., (left) and Bailey Gow of Roseburg, Ore., get in some practice time in preparation for the NMSU home rodeo Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30. The Aggie women are close to amassing enough points to become the top-ranked team in the country. (04/27/2005) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

Rough stock riders, ropers, steer wrestlers and barrel racers from universities across the Southwest will compete for points and prize money at NMSU's spring home rodeo. The women's team needs only 50 points to capture first place in the nation, so NMSU coach Jim Dewey Brown is hoping for a good hometown crowd to support the team.

"Come and support the Aggies," he said. "We'll finish the year number one in the nation."

Leon Coffee, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association clown of the year and National Finals Rodeo barrel man, will entertain both nights.

Coffee performed at the April 2004 NMSU rodeo.

The points awarded at the rodeo also help determine who will compete at the College National Finals Rodeo June 12-18 in Casper, Wyo. The NMSU men's team is solidly in second place in the Grand Canyon Region, which ensures both Aggie teams will take a trip to nationals. Individual team members also will be watching their points. The top three competitors in the region in each event will go to Casper.

Action starts at 7 p.m. Friday, followed Saturday by a slack competition at 9 a.m. and top 10 short go at 7 p.m.

A children's rodeo will follow the slack competition Saturday at 3 p.m., with special needs students competing in goat touching and barrel racing with stick horses. Admission to each event is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-13 and free for children 5 and under. The slack competition and children's rodeo are free.

"It'll be good entertainment and good rodeo action," Brown said.