2018 : 49th Spartan Stampede Rodeo Held, Selects First African-American Rodeo Queen

February 17, 2024 all-day

February 16-18, 2018

Michigan State sophomore, Khalilah Smith, rides around

Michigan State sophomore, Khalilah Smith, rides around the school’s livestock pavilion during the 49th annual Spartan Stampede Sunday afternoon. Saturday, Smith was named the first African-American Rodeo Queen in MSU history. (Photo: Angela Vinciguerra-Whalen photos)

As a Michigan State University student, you can study violin with a touring virtuoso artist, you can research rare isotopes at a world renowned research facility, you can play football at the Rose Bowl, or you can experiment in the field of genetics with a MacArthur genius.

But let’s not forget, you can also ride a bucking bronco at the 49th Annual Spartan Stampede Rodeo, appearing at the MSU Pavilion Feb. 16-18.

As MSU has grown to become an internationally recognized research institution, the Stampede, put on by the MSU Rodeo Club, reminds us where MSU’s roots are – firmly in the ground.

After all, MSU’s name used to be the Michigan Agricultural College.

The MSU Rodeo Club originated in 1969. In addition to organizing the Spartan Stampede, the club sends a team to compete in various rodeos throughout the Ozark Region. The proceeds of the rodeo will be used by the MSU Rodeo Club to cover travel costs from MSU intercollegiate rodeo competitors. It will also help provide scholarship funds for current and prospective MSU students. For more information on the rodeo, visit the MSU Rodeo Club’s Web site at http://msurodeoclub.com.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people make their way out to the rodeo every year.

The three-day event is jam-packed with bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping and barrel racing.  Click here for a glimpse.

Khalilah Smith, a sophomore at Michigan State, received the distinction as the school’s first black rodeo queen at the 49th annual Spartan Stampede Rodeo on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018.

Click here for more action at the 49th Spartan Stampede.


Ken Glickman, “Spartan Stampede brings 300 rodeo riders to MSU Feb. 20-22”, Lansing State Journal, February 20, 2015.

Anne Erickson, “Spartan Stampede: Everything you need to know”, Lansing State Journal, February 18, 2016

Princess Gabbaro, “Spartan Stampede Rodeo: Everything you need to know“, Lansing State Journal, February 12, 2018

Cody J. Tucker, “Khalilah Smith is the first black rodeo queen in Michigan State history“, Lansing State Journal, February 21, 2018.

Wharton Center Spartan Stampede Announcement