Humanities degrees attract a diverse mixture of people. In this blog, we hear from Samantha Houston, who recently completed an MA in Celtic Studies at UWTSD. Samantha explains how she twinned distance learning with (what else?!) a career as a rodeo competitor.

My MA in the Celtic Studies at UWTSD marked the completion of an educational goal that I first started pursuing when I was 19. I am fascinated by Arthurian Studies, and have long wanted to combine this with my passion for films, stunt work and rodeo.

As the Master’s degree progressed, I was travelling to and riding in rodeos nearly every weekend, and staying in Canada instead of the UK.

The distance learning option, then, was an excellent choice for me as it allowed me to finish my studies while still doing rodeo full-time on the weekends. I did this all four years during my Master’s.

Having graduated, I am still riding bulls, now primarily in the USA. There are several states across the country offering women’s bull riding divisions, and these allow women riders to compete for our own championship titles and buckles.

These pictures show me riding a little black bull named Cherry Bomb, and the belt buckle I won at the Cross Over the Line Rodeo Company Winter Series 2018, in Moravia, New York.

The rodeo lifestyle is something I would not change for the world and I am really happy that I found UWTSD so I could have the best of both academic and athletic opportunities.


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