The UT Martin men’s rodeo squad competes for a national championship next month in Casper, Wyoming.
The 72nd annual College National Finals Rodeo is set for June 13-19 at the Ford Wyoming Center.
Five total cowboys will make up the UTM men’s team, who receive an automatic berth into the CNFR after placing second in the Ozark Region with 4,910 points over 10 regular season rodeos. Currently ranked eighth in the national standings, UT Martin will be making its 46th appearance in the last 47 years at the national rodeo, which will be back up and running after last year’s event was canceled.
Chase Thrasher (team roping header), Cole Walker (team roping heeler) and Stetson Bierman (bareback riding) each finished in the top-three in the Ozark Region in their respective events and automatically qualified for nationals. Thrasher will also compete in tie-down roping while Tyler Pruitt (saddle bronc riding) and Jesse Keysaer (steer wrestling) will additionally represent UT Martin at the 2021 version of the CNFR.
The CNFR is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns national men’s and women’s team champions, as well as individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.
The top two teams and best three participants from each event in the 11 regions gain automatic entry into the CNFR, which will feature more than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges across the NIRA ranks.