Griz Ready for Their Spring Rodeo - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Griz Ready for Their Spring Rodeo

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With their Spring Rodeo, the Griz are thankful to stay at home for once, instead of traveling to places as far as Glendive in the Big Sky Region.

"800 miles is a lot on your horses.  They're tired, they're just like us, they have good days and bad days.  It definitely helps when they stay at their own pens and can eat their own feed," says Griz senior Duston Stephens.

"This is the first day we've been able to get in this arena, but it's more than all the other competitors, so all around our horses are ready to go, we don't have to haul them, they are already here used to the water and the arena, and we're good to go," adds Griz junior Jessica Read.

For Stephens, who sits at fourth in the Men's All-Around, he's hoping in his senior year to put on his best performance yet.

"I'm pretty excited for this rodeo.  I'm 500 points away from winning the all-around, which is a big rodeo, but it's a goal of mine to just let it all hang out in my last rodeo and see if I can do it," says Stephens.

There are several athletes for the Griz who used to compete for Montana State, and there is a big difference, if for no other reason than the sheer numbers, with MSU's roster nearly four times bigger than the Griz, but the smaller team does have its benefits.

"Here it's a lot more laid back, and you get a lot more quality practice in.  Being able to run more than one at a time helps, and Kory is a great coach, I've learned a lot from him," says former Bobcat and current UM Law student Sierra Reyher.

"Just the practice alone has been so good with the 1-on-1 time with the smaller team.  I'm more about quality than quantity.  Even if I have somebody who may not be an excellent competitor now, we're molding them into better competitors where they get more zoned in practice," adds Mytty

For the University of Montana team, putting on a home rodeo means more than just competing, and it starts with gaining sponsors to afford the venue.

"Chute sponsors, program sponsors, and buckle sponsors, and then we have to get the stock, and have the right number of stock so we don't get fined, and make sure everybody has the draw posted," explains Read.

What's so exciting about rodeo, is the events happen in mere seconds, which is great for the fans, but can be frustrating for the competitors if they have a minor misstep.

"It's hard, to pick yourself up and go on, it's not like football where you had a bad quarter and have time to recover, if  you go out there and make a bad run, you're done," says Reyher.
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