Snake River Stampede rodeo cowboy balances studying with steer wrangling

Posted at 9:48 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 23:49:41-04

NAMPA, Idaho — Wrestling steers and writing papers-- that's what one Oklahoma cowboy entering Nampa's Snake River Stampede aims to do. And he has his eyes on more than just a rodeo prize.

Despite the year-round travel and practice dedicated to being a full-time rodeo cowboy, the incoming junior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Bridger Anderson, juggles his love for steer wrangling, with a full-time course of college credits.

And while it's opening night at Nampa's Snake River Stampede, Anderson will have been in four different states by the end of the week.

"We have another rodeo in Salinas, California, we'll go there, we run two on Thursday, and then on Friday we go to Salt Lake," said Anderson.

When Anderson's not traveling the states as a steer wrangler, he's a business major studying for his bachelor's. He describes steer wrangling as, "the hazer keeps em lined out and the steer wrestler runs up and crawls off onto the steer and just grabs the right horn left horn, throws 'em down."

Anderson said achieving his diploma will ensure he a has a plan to "fall back on."

"It's good to get a degree, because rodeo doesn't last forever, and it's not guaranteed-- you never know when you're gonna get hurt."

He travels and competes in rodeos all year long.

"If you don't compete year-round you'll fall behind," said Anderson.

In the meantime, he doubles up his dreams of both a rodeo prize-- and a diploma.

"Keep your homework done I guess. Try to stay on top of it. It gets a little tough but its manageable," said Anderson.

In the process, he said he's learned the best approach: "Go to school as much as you can, try not to miss too much to where the teachers get a little mad at ya, and then try to rodeo as much as you can."

But with life on the road, he says it can be tricky to stay focused unless you do this: "Work hard and surround yourself by people who want to see you excel and help you."

The Snake River Stampede Rodeo runs nightly from Tuesday until Saturday, with two shows on Saturday.