The University of Montana competes in the Big Sky Region, which includes teams from UM-Western, Montana State University, MSU-Northern, Miles Community College, Dawson Community College, Carrol College, Montana Tech, University of Great Falls, Little Big Horn College, Blackfoot Community College and Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.
The men compete in six events: tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, bull riding, bareback, and saddle bronc riding. The women compete in four events: barrel racing, breakaway roping, goat tying, and team roping. The majority of team members come from the ranks of high school rodeo in Montana. However, the team has also drawn outstanding student-athletes from nearby western states such as Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and from as far away as New York and South Carolina.
Today, it enjoys prominence as one of the premier rodeo organizations in the Big Sky Region. The rapid growth of UM Rodeo in the '90s is the result of the efforts of the UM Rodeo Board of Directors. They have taken on responsibility for raising the money necessary to recruit and train the top student-athletes who represent the University of Montana and the community, setting team policy, and planning for the perpetuation of this great tradition.
UM Rodeo men and women have enjoyed a large degree of success from the late 1940's when UM's Delos Robins was the National Champion Steer Wrestler, through today, where our student-athletes have won Regional Championships in every event. Team members from UM have appeared at the College National Finals Rodeo every year since 1990, either as individuals or as entire team. Lisa Schaffer won the 1985 Women's All-Around Championship cowgirl and was also the 1985 National Champion Barrel Racer. In 1997, the women's team finished second in the nation, lead by Rachel Myllymaki who won the National Championship in Barrel racing. Bryant Mikkelson won the National Men's All-Around and Steer Wrestling titles in 1999, he lead the Men's team to a fifth place finish. In 2008, Dustin Jenkins was the National Champion Bull Rider.