On March 30, 2013, the Connors State College equine and rodeo programs held the annual Spring Gathering at the Melvin Self Fieldhouse.
An event that has seen growth each year, this year’s barbecue dinner, silent auction and three-prize raffle entertained approximately 300 guests. Those in attendance ranged from current CSC students and staff, alumni, horse owners, prospective students, and other community stakeholders.
“One exciting trend that we have seen from previous years is growing attendance from Connors faculty, staff and students,” said Jake Walker, assistant rodeo coach. “We are excited that everyone came out in a major way to support our students and reunite with alumni.”
Prior to the event, students sold $25 raffle tickets, which qualified ticket holders for a chance to win a 40-foot Priefert utility round pen kit worth $1,600, a Priefert horse stock worth $1,000, or a 20X black gold hat.
The raffle prizes were claimed by J. Clay Burtrum, Stillwater, Okla. [round pen]; Ira Jackson, Warner, Okla. [horse stock]; and Holly Gilbreth, Ozark, Ark. [hat].
The top raffle ticket salesmen were awarded for their efforts: CJae Lenhart took home honors for top salesman, earning a $250 gift certificate from Mock Brother Saddlery; while Michael Edgmon was reserve – $100 c
The Division of Agriculture and the Connors Development Foundation announced a new endowed scholarship in honor of longtime faculty member Fred Williams – one of the equine program’s pioneers.
A live auction saw several attendees in a bidding war to purchase a 2-year-old horse trained by the Connors equine program; and 20 bales of alfalfa hay.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the evening, however, was the musical performance of Paul Bogart, Nashville recording artist and CSC rodeo alum. To the enjoyment of those on the dance floor, Bogart and his band took the stage at 6:30 p.m. and then gave an extended performance later, when the “business end” of the evening was complete. Also joining him at the microphone and on guitar were the musically inclined rodeo coaches Jake Lawson and Jake Walker, as well as a few current rodeo students.