Skip to content

Two Three Rivers College rodeo team members, Jake Sellers and Madison Steele, are set to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) on June 9-15 in Casper, Wyoming.

Sellers ended the 2018-2019 rodeo year in fourth place in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Ozark Region for bull riding, after missing much of the season due to serious injuries from an accident with a bull in the practice pen.

When the bull-riding competitor in third place was unable to attend the CNFR, Sellers got the call to take his place representing the Ozark Region.

“Jake has overcome a lot of adversity since last October when he was injured. He was disappointed about not finishing in the top three, but with this call, he is as excited as he has ever been for an opportunity in rodeo,” said Chad Phipps, coach of the Three Rivers College rodeo team. “He worked hard this Spring, and he was already working hard at home this summer preparing for next year. Now he doesn’t have to wait until next year to compete again.”

Steele was the 2019 NIRA Ozark Region Breakaway Roping Champion, which secured her spot in the CNFR. “Madison has all of the talent in the world, she could definitely win the National title,” said Phipps. “She has had a great year with a lot of learning experiences. I expect her talent and experience will help her do well in Wyoming.”

Sellers, from Clark Ridge, Arkansas, just completed his freshman year studying Forestry at Three Rivers. Steele is an Agriculture major from Albertville, Alabama. Both she and Sellers will return to Three Rivers in the Fall to continue their education and compete with the rodeo team.

“I am looking forward to coaching Jake and Madison at their first CNFRs. There is no better feeling than to get to compete on the biggest stage in the world for college rodeo. I know the work they have both put in, and I look forward to seeing it pay off for them at the Finals,” said Phipps.

Three Rivers College is the only community college in Missouri with a rodeo team, and only one of two college rodeo teams in the entire state, until this Fall when they are joined by a third—Central Methodist University.

Recently, Three Rivers and Central Methodist University expanded their existing partnership to include a four-year Agribusiness degree and a four-year rodeo team, available to students beginning Fall 2019.

For the new Agribusiness program, students will complete coursework through Three Rivers for three years, earning an Associate of Applied Science in Agribusiness and an Associate of Arts in Agriculture before beginning their fourth year with Central Methodist. All courses will be available at the Three Rivers Poplar Bluff campus and will have components utilizing the Three Rivers College farm.

In addition, students on the Three Rivers rodeo team will now have the opportunity to compete with the newly formed Central Methodist rodeo team after they transfer from TRC to CMU.

The CMU rodeo team will be based in Poplar Bluff and share the arena at the Three Rivers College farm for practices and training.

Keep up with the Three Rivers College rodeo team members as they compete at CNFR by visiting or the Three Rivers College Athletics Facebook page.

For more information on the Three Rivers rodeo team and sponsorship opportunities, contact Chad Phipps at 573-840-9611, ext. 3630, or For information on enrolling at Three Rivers, call the Welcome Center at 573-840-9605 or visit

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit

Main Campus
2080 Three Rivers Blvd., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

P: (877) 879-8722 View all locations