WSU student displayed Shocker colors on horseback
Until this past May, Loyd, a senior in Health Services Management, was Wichita State’s only participant in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
The past academic year was Loyd’s last for intercollegiate rodeo eligibility. Before coming to WSU, she competed for three years while she was a student at Pratt Community College.
Now that her college eligibility is over, she plans to continue to ride in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
All in the family
Rodeo has been in her family since before she was born.
Loyd began riding horses before she was in kindergarten, and her father, mother, stepmother and older brother have all competed professionally.
When she competed as a student, she wore a vest with WSU’s mascot and school name sewn by her grandmother.
During the school year, her day began with homework before riding practice, then she went to classes in the afternoon and evening.
After classes there was usually more practice. Loyd typically rode between two and three hours a day.
The costs for practice, care of her horses and travel expenses for competitions were covered by Loyd and her family.
Even though she has been competing for many years, Loyd has never been seriously injured, although at 21 years old a tendon in her right shoulder is starting to show overuse from roping practice.
Loyd competes in both breakaway roping and barrel racing.
Breakaway roping is similar to cattle roping, except that the rider does not tie the calf’s legs. The rider’s rope is tied to the saddle by a light string, which breaks away after the calf is roped.
“Barrel racing is when you run a cloverleaf pattern around barrels in the arena,” she said. In the event, riders follow a path around obstacles in the ring, performing a combination of left and right turns.
Scoring in both events is based on the time it takes for the rider to finish.
“I’m addicted to breakaway roping,” she said. “I always think of rodeoing like gambling. I don’t like to gamble at casinos, so instead I just enter rodeos.”