After a drawn-out, pandemic-induced hiatus, the VSU Department of Animal Science becomes alive with the hisses of lassos and bullwhips hurled into the air as they hosted the Livestock Challenge 2023 on April 28 in the DAS Rodeo Arena under the scorching sun and in a festive atmosphere which was set to be one of the highlights of the 99th VSU Anniversary.

It’s the time of year again when many of the rodeo-goers wearing jeans, plaid shirts, leather boots, and cowboy hats are excited to witness the comeback of the Livestock Challenge. This 1-day event showcases the finest breeds of cattle, with participants from the Association of Rodeo Enthusiasts in Visca (AREV) members in attendance to contest and exude their exhibitions of skills derived from rounding up cattle.

Instantly, after the opening program at the arena, spectators were treated to action-packed events, such as Cattle Wrestling/Carambola (4 Men & Women), Lassoing on foot (Men & Women), Casting down (Men & Women), Cattle Wrestling (2 Men & Women), Tug of War, and Load Carrying (Men & Women) participated in by teams of cowboys and cowgirls. It features five teams from different sectors of the department including AgriLife, Pro Mix, Pigrolac Unahco. Inc, FeedPro, VIEPro (Alumni), and the Utility Team.

Agrilife West Ranchers is the overall champion, having won gold medals in Casting Down Women, Lassoing on Foot (Women), and (2 Men and 2 Women) Cattle wrestling; silver medal in 4 Men Cattle Wrestling/Carambola and Casting Down (Men); while bronze medals were awarded to men for lassoing their feet, tug of war, and Load Carrying (Women).

The Feedpro Builders were the first runner-up, with gold medals for 4 Men Cattle Wrestling, Tug of War, and Load Carrying (Men); silver medals for 4 Women Cattle Wrestling, 2 Men Cattle Wrestling, and Load Carrying (Women); and bronze medals for Casting Down (Men and Women).

The Pigrolac War hogs ranked second runner-up after winning gold medals in Lassoing in foot (Men), Casting Down (Men), and Load Carrying (Women); silver medals in Casting Down (Women); and bronze medals in 4 Men and 4 Women Cattle Wrestling/Carambola, 2 Men Cattle Wrestling, and Load Carrying (Men).

ProMix Spot G ended in third runner-up position garnering a gold medal in 4 Women Cattle Wrestling/Carambola; a silver medal in Lassoing in foot (Men), 2 Women Cattle Wrestling, Tug of War, Load Carrying (Men).

This comeback's successful turnout is a preview of what a grander showcase VSU’s Department of Animal Science (DAS), Society of Animal Science Students, and Association of Rodeo Enthusiasts will exhibit during the much-awaited centennial anniversary of VSU.

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