The University of Houston-Victoria may not have a rodeo team, but that’s not stopping one student from representing her university in the ring. Biology major Brittany Urban, a rodeo participant for more than six years, recently sought and was granted permission from President Tim Hudson to compete in collegiate rodeo events on behalf of UHV.
The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association allows up to four students at a school that does not have a rodeo team to participate individually as school representatives. NIRA competitors must be in good standing with their schools, complete 12 credit hours for every term in which they compete, and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
“I admire Brittany’s initiative,” said Hudson. “After meeting her I feel certain that she can balance her commitment to her sport with her desire for an education. She is an impressive young woman and she will represent UHV well.”
Urban competes in breakaway roping. In this event, a rider uses a rope connected to her saddlehorn by a nylon string. When the rider ropes a calf, the string breaks away from the saddle. An attached flag signals to the judge to stop the clock; contestants are scored on the amount of time it takes to complete the task.
Rodeos are a family affair for the Cuero native, whose younger siblings Clint and Kendra Nyegaard also compete in rodeos. Urban said she was inspired to try competing by her mother who competed in rodeos as a youth. Her family travels to rodeos nearly every weekend.
When Urban completes her degree at UHV, she plans to study optometry at the University of Houston main campus.
For more information on collegiate rodeo, visit the NIRA Web site at www.collegerodeo.com.