The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Alumni, Inc. contributed $10,5000 in scholarships this year at the College National Finals Rodeo June 17 in Casper, Wyoming.

“Each year our Alumni continue to contribute more and more to our scholarship fund. Consequently, we are able to present athletes scholarships to help them pursue a college education while participating in college rodeo,”stated Butch Bratsky, NIRA Alumni President.

A $1,000 scholarship was presented to Hill College of Hillsboro, Texas, who won  the Fourth Place Men’s Team competition. University of Nevada in Las Vegas won the $500 Women’s Team Fourth Place Scholarship.

Rickie Engesser of Gillette College in Gillette, Wyoming was named the Female Rookie of the Year and was presented with a $500 scholarship from the Alumni. Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Cowboy, Lane McGehee captured the $500 Male Rookie of the Year in 2017. SHSU is in Huntsville, Texas.

This year NIRA Alumni, Inc.board member, Jerry Beagley and R.E. and Martha Josey teamed up and presented each go-round winner of the barrel race a $500 scholarship. The winners included: First Go-Kailee Webb, University of Wyoming (UOW)-Laramie, WY.; Second Go-K.L. Spratt, SHSU; Third Go-Lonnie Lester, SHSU; and Fourth Go-Hailey Kinsel, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas

Sloan Smith, Southwestern Oklahoma State University cowboy, was awarded the $1,000 NIRA Alumni, Inc. Stan Harter Memorial Scholarship. It is given yearly to a timed event cowboy.

Additional $500 NIRA Alumni, Inc. Rookie of the Year scholarships were presented to the following students in their designated college rodeo event:

Bareback Riding:  Lane McGehee-SHSU

Tie Down Roping: Cooper Matthews-Hill College

Breakaway Roping: Brandi Epps-Southeastern Oklahoma State University-Durant, Oklahoma

Saddle Bronc Riding: Logan Cook-Panola Junior College-Carthage, Texas

Steer Wrestling: There was not a rookie this year.

Goat Tying: Rickie Engesser-Gillette College

Team Roping-Header: Ross Mitchell-University of Tennessee-Martin

Team Roping-Heeler: Dusty Taylor-UOW

Barrel Racing: Sierra Spratt-SHSU

Bull Riding: Chase Dougherty-Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

The NIRA Alumni, Inc. and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Rodeo Historical Society (RHS) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma presented each NIRA National Champion  on Saturday evening with a one year All-Around Membership to the Museum. This $100 value is a duel membership, offering: a museum family membership to the Museum and to RHS, year-round admission for six including the Annual Chuck Wagon Festival, two issues of Kitchen magazine-the official RHS publication, invitations to Museum events, event discounts, discounts to the Museum Store-on site and on-line, and voting privileges to select Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees.

“We hope that the students are excited about our effort to share the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and RHS with them. The students have worked tirelessly in their efforts to become NIRA Champions, “ stated Gary Moore, Interim CEO/President of the museum.

The NIRA Champions were also invited to be the guest of  the Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame weekend festivities November 9-11,2017. For additional information about the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and RHS go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/rodeo.

Contributors for the 2017 NIRA Alumni, Inc. Scholarships included the following:

Ken and Sharon Adams, Jerry Beagley,  Christi Braudrick, Butch and Shannon Bratsky, Ron and Mary Ann Brunson, Larry Burgess, Charles Chambers,Dick Claycomb, Buz and Judy Cowdrey, david Dahl, red Doyle, Lee Eddins, Jay and Merrill Ellis, John and Margaret Fincher, Jean Foss, Mary Fuller, Debbie Garrison, Gary Greg, J.A. and Patti Hammonds, Barbara Hinz, R.E. and Martha Josey, Evelyn Kingsberry, Cindy Lafferty, Ronald Lafleur, Ned Londo, Bill Laycock, Sylvia Mahoney, Jerry and Linda Miller, Miller Family, Jim Moore, Del Nose, Wilford Phillips, Elizabeth Posey, Don Reichert, Cotton Rosser, Harlan and donna Schott, Jud Shows, Jr. Sonny Sikes, Western Veterinarian Supply, Fred and Clara Wilson, and Billy Word.