Central Methodist to Launch Rodeo Team

Team Will Be Based In Poplar Bluff

January 16, 2019

By SCOTT QUEEN / squeen@centralmethodist.edu

Amanda PhippsCentral Methodist University is throwing its hat into the rodeo ring and will launch a team this fall.

Dr. Rita Gulstad, provost, made the announcement on Wednesday. CMU has partnered with Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, MO. The CMU team will be based in Poplar Bluff and will conduct practices and training at the arena at Three Rivers Farm.

Gulstad presented her plans Wednesday to the Three Rivers College Board of Trustees.

“The demand for a team is evident,” Gulstad said. “We have several students when have expressed a commitment already, and quite a few who have shown interest.”

Gulstad said the idea came from Three Rivers President Dr. Wesley Payne, who gave the credit to his students.

"They wanted the chance to do all four years here at TRC and continue in rodeo,” Payne said. “So I told Dr. Gulstad I had a crazy idea. CMU is always extremely creative in making things happen, so Dr. Gulstad and I worked individually and together on the project, and we were able to get it done.”

TRC rodeo participants will have the opportunity to do four years of education in Poplar Bluff, with the final two years being students through Central Methodist.

CMU hired Amanda Phipps as the team’s first head coach. Phipps, an accomplished barrel racer herself in Georgia, has experience working with the Three Rivers team, and is passionate about the opportunity with Central Methodist.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and grateful,” Phipps said. “And I’m looking forward to building the team. Phipps will manage all aspects of the program, from recruitment to practices and competition, and even fundraising.

Central Methodist will compete in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, Ozark Region.