Wins pay off for hometown girl
Like all good things, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo held in conjunction with the Colorado State Fair has come and gone.
The conditions were ideal for the list of contestants ranging from the top 50 in the world to some of the top players in the Mountain States PRCA/WPRA Circuit, including Pueblo West’s Christine Laughlin.
Laughlin, who is originally from Pueblo, previously worked at Heartland Homes in Pueblo West before she decided to take a shot at the pro rodeo trail and it has definitely paid off.
At press time, she was ranked 32nd in the WPRA/PRCA World Standings in the Barrel Racing and having one of her best years yet.
With huge wins and high placings in Greeley, Colorado, Ogden, Utah, Dodge City, Kansas, Spanish Ford, Utah, and Lawton, Oklahoma, she is setting herself up for a trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in the next year or so.
Laughlin was last year’s Colorado State Fair PRCA barrel racing champion, stowing away over $2,200 for the win.
She competed in Pueblo again this year, but didn’t quite have the run she had hoped for.
“We ended up hitting the first barrel going into it, so that slowed us down quite a bit. After that I just let Six Pack coast the rest of the way,” said Laughlin.
“We were still a 17.6 which still would’ve placed if we wouldn’t have hit that barrel. We won it last year with a 17.26 and the way he has been working this summer, I knew he could go in there and be even faster than he was last year. But there is always next year!”
Although she didn’t quite have the hometown advantage she had last year, she said she is very thankful for the year that she has had thus far on the pro rodeo trail.
As in any sport, hitting the pro ranks is extremely difficult and to hold your own in the ranks is even more of a battle.
However Laughlin has made a name known for herself and the pretty grey pony that she turns and burns on.
“His name is Six Pack and he is 8-years-old. He has really stepped up to the plate this year and has been making some beautiful runs.”
Laughlin also has two other barrel horses that she hauls down the road, Johnny and Dunnit.
“Johnny is 14 this year and Dunnit is 7. I have had Johnny for about 7 years. He is pretty special to me,” Laughlin said. “They all are. They make my job easy and fun at the same time which is always a plus.”
Laughlin has had the itch for horses and riding since she was a little girl, learning how to ride at the ripe age of 3.
“I basically started riding the first chance I got. My parents don’t rodeo, my dad ropes some and my mom goes with a lot of places.” They are extremely supportive and I am very blessed to have them and their unconditional love and support.”
Laughlin junior rodeoed, high school rodeoed, where she qualified for the National High School Rodeo Finals three times and she also did some college rodeoeing when she was going to school down in Canyon, Texas at West Texas A&M.
“After college, I got my amateur card and went to amateur rodeos for a few years. I think it was in 2007 that I finally got my WPRA permit and started hitting some pro rodeos. I have always done pretty well but these past two years have been incredible and I owe it all to my herd of outstanding horses. Without them I would not be where I am today.”