UMW Sports Press Release:
The Bulldog Men’s Rodeo Team finished second overall in the team
standings in the NIRA Big Sky Region. With the second-place finish, they qualify as a team to
compete at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) set to be held in Casper, Wyo. from June 11 through 17.
“Obviously, our goal was to get the team to the CNFR, now we focus on what we can do to put ourselves in the best spot to compete there and bring home some hardware.” Head Coach JT Robbins said.
Robbins, voted the 2022-23 Big Sky Region Coach of the Year, is in his second year at the helm of the Montana Western Rodeo Team.
“We are taking a very balanced team consisting of some great individuals. I am really looking
forward to it.” Robbins continued.
“We have a good group of guys that all get along. We know how to have fun, but we also know how to be serious and get better. JT lined up lots of good practice cattle this season that made it easy for us to get better with quality practices. I am excited to get home and rope with different people that can help me in different ways and keep pushing me to get better every day heading into the Finals.” Senior Brett Bartholomew said.
The Bulldogs will send six individuals to compete at the CNFR in just under one month.
Brett Bartholomew, a senior from Filer, Idaho, competed this season in tie down roping and team roping. Though qualifying for the CNFR back in 2020, he was unable to compete due to the cancelation of the finals. Bartholomew will now make his first appearance at the CNFR after he finished fifth in the region in tie down roping.
Ty Christensen, a senior from Plain City, Utah, makes his first appearance at the CNFR after he
competed in team roping and tie down roping this season. Christensen transferred to Montana Western this season after stints at Weber State and Casper College. He finished this season fifth in the Big Sky Region in the Men's All-Around, second in team roping, and seventh in tie down roping.
Trevor Kay, a sophomore bareback rider from Chester, Idaho, makes his second trip to the
CNFR. He enters the finals as the No. 1 rider in the nation. He finished on top of the average
standings in eight of the ten rodeos this season. Last season, he finished 15th in Casper last
Carson Klingler, a sophomore saddle bronc rider from Rexburg, Idaho, makes his second
appearance at the CNFR for the Bulldogs. He finished 15th last year in Casper, Wyo. Klingler
qualified after he overtook the third-place spot in his final ride at the regional finals in Missoula
back on April 29.
Gavin Knutson, a freshman from Polson, Mont., makes his first appearance at the CNFR this
year. He competed this season in bull riding, tie down roping, and in team roping. Knutson enters the CNFR as the third ranked bull rider in the nation. He won the NIRA Big Sky Region title in bull riding and earned 645 points on the season.
Jhet Murphy, a junior from Helena, Mont., makes his debut at the CNFR. A transfer from
Laramie Community College, Murphy finished a successful first year as a Bulldog. He finished
second in the NIRA Big Sky Region in the Men's All-Around standings, second overall in team
roping, fifth overall in steer wrestling, and 15th in the tie down roping.