Hillsboro, Texas—Hill College will host the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Southern region rodeo on March 31–April 1, 2023, at the Hill College Rodeo Grounds. The event is part of a four-circuit tour for the Southern region championship.
The Hill College men’s team is currently ranked third in region standings. The women’s team is in seventh place.
Athletic Director and Head Rodeo Coach, Paul Brown, stated, “We have a strong team this year and are excited about hosting the NIRA competition in Hillsboro. I’m proud of the students we have and the accomplishments they’ve achieved. We hope the community comes out to watch our talented team.”
Parker Fleet, who is currently in third place in the region for bronc riding, said “My family has always been involved in rodeo, so it was a natural transition for me growing up. My family taught my brother and I how to ride and rope, and they made sure we were taught to be respectful of the rules and how to be successful in our events. When I wanted to get into bronc riding, they were supportive and helped that dream become a reality. I’ve been blessed by their support; none of this would have been possible without my family. Paul Brown and his wife, Traci, are like family. They made Hill College an easy choice.”
Fleet received his associates degree in welding in 2020 and is taking courses in agricultural business. He recently won the average at the Texas circuit finals in Waco.
Chase Webster is in fourth place for team roping as a header and sixth for calf roping. He is also in third place for the men’s all-around. He began rodeoing in fourth grade in his home state of Utah. Webster graduated high school early and chose to continue his education and rodeo career at Hill College because of the leadership of Paul Brown. He made the college rodeo finals in team roping in 2021 and went on to win the same event at the Junior National Finals Rodeo that same year. He made the circuit finals in 2022.
Webster’s roping horse is Clancy, a 10-year-old Quarter horse gelding, who he trained himself. He is currently taking courses in agricultural business.
On the women’s team, Ainslee Morris is competing in breakaway roping. Like many others, she grew up in rodeo. She recently placed fourth in breakaway at McNeese State University and placed at the recent rodeo at Northeast Texas Community College. She also trained her horse, Classy, and chose Hill College because of Athletic Director Paul Brown.
Morris’s academic focus is aviation; she is currently taking classes at both Utah Valley University as well as Hill College.
Other contestants include: Coy Herbert, who is in fourth for saddle bronc riding; Rhody Niles, Hooks, Hagen Helmcamp, and Cutter Kaylor, who are in fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively for bull riding; Cole Walker, who is in ninth place for steer wrestling; Mason Vaculin, who is in 11th place for team roping as header; Luke Leathers, who is in fourth place for team roping as heeler; Jesse Harris, who is in 15th place for barrel racing; and Makenzie Dowell, who is in 14th place for goat tying.
Slack will begin at 9 a.m. both days. Friday’s rodeo, March 31, 2023, will begin at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday’s rodeo, April 1, 2023, will begin at 2 p.m. Concessions will be available thanks to the Hope Koonsman Foundation. The rodeo is free to the public.
The grounds are located at 200 HCR 3108, Hillsboro, Texas.