BYU-Idaho students participated and competed in steer riding at the Rexburg Rodeo Friday, Oct. 9 at the Madison Country Fairgrounds. Girls competed for the prize of free tuition for a semester, and boys for a belt buckle.

For several people, it was their first time ever being a part of such an event.

“Apparently I’m going to ride a steer,” said Ashlee Greenwood, a senior studying elementary education. “It’s my first time. It’ll be great. I’m nervous that I’m gonna fall off after a second and be a waste, but I’m not nervous of the steer. They’re little.”

Wilson Ashton, a sophomore studying agribusiness, said he has been a part of rodeos in the past.

“I’ve been a part of home rodeos, nothing crazy, some backyard jumping on bulls and steers,” Ashton said.

Ashton said although he has been a part of rodeos, he gets a little more nervous than some, especially when it comes to getting off the bulls.

“Being on it is fine,” Ashton said. “Your exit is a little interesting. I’m nervous right now. You’ve got to psyche yourself out.”

Shantay Pearson, a junior studying biology, said she was also participating in her first rodeo.

“I was really excited until I got here,” Pearson said. “Then I got really nervous. We had to sign a waiver. After reading it, it made me a little nervous.”

Pearson’s mother, Kathy Pearson, was in attendance and said she was feeling some nerves as she prepared to watch her daughter compete.

“We love going to rodeos,” Kathy Pearson said. “But having her be a contestant is what makes me nervous.”

Greenwood, who has been to, but never participated in a rodeo, said she received tips but does not know how helpful they will be when on the steer.

“There is a lot of stuff that goes into balancing, but I don’t think I’m gonna be able to think about any of that,” Greenwood said. “I think I’m just gonna try to hold on, and hope for the best.”

Greenwood said she was not nervous about getting hurt.

“My friends tell me the dirt is really soft,” Greenwood said. “So I’m just gonna take their word for it and hope that it is.”

Only three people in the history of this competition had been able to stay on the bull for eight seconds, the event’s announcer said.

A couple students accomplished that goal, including Nicholas Maynes, a junior studying mechanical engineering.

“I just wanted to hang on tight,” he said. “I knew I did alright so I was pretty stoked for it.”