When the dust settled on Colorado State Fair rodeo action, which ran Aug. 24-28 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colo., it was hometown cowgirl, Christine Laughlin who emerged as the barrel racing champion. Along with securing the title worth $2,240, Laughlin made her first Mountain States Circuit Finals qualification a reality with the lucrative win.
Laughlin and the gray Frenchmans Guy-bred gelding “6 Pac” teamed up to put a time of 17.26 on the leader board during Saturday evening’s performance, which took place on Aug. 25. Laughlin felt that 6 Pac’s style was best suited to the wide open spaces of the State Fairgrounds Outdoor Arena than that of her other barrel horses—a decision that was well-rewarded. The duo’s time held through the course of the subsequent rodeo performances and slack, and was most closely challenged by Turquoise Circuit Finals regular Sabrina Ketchum’s 17.28, who finished second.
Christine Laughlin, CREDIT: BQ Gauck Photography
“It was the last circuit rodeo I was going to go to, so I was going to definitely need to win some money,” explained Laughlin, who was ranked outside the Mountain States Circuit Finals’ top 12 prior to Pueblo. “There was the pressure of having to win a good check at the hometown rodeo with a lot of friends and family there, but it was exciting.”
Laughlin was quick to credit her parents for their constant support of her rodeo pursuits. “My dad shoes all my horses and my mom and dad are just always behind me,” she said. “Also, Gary Clasey worked that ground day and night all through the rodeo, and the ground stayed very consistent, giving everyone a fair shot. He worked very hard to make the ground the best he could, which is so important.”
Laughlin’s plans for the remainder of the 2012 season include rodeos in Amarillo and Albuquerque, as she continues to season 6 Pac to competition. She is excited to prepare for the RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will take place in Rock Springs, Wyo., Oct. 25-27, and features the top 12 ranked barrel racers vying for a chance to win the prestigious circuit championship and a trip to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Colorado State Fair & Rodeo Barrel Race Results:
1. Christine Laughlin, 17.26, $2,240.10; 2. Sabrina Ketcham, 17.28, $1,904.08; 3. Wendy McKee, 17.41, $1,568.07; 4. Fallon Taylor, 17.50, $1,344.06; 5. Annie Campbell, 17.55, $1,120.05; 6. Kelly Yates (G), 17.57, $784.03; 7. Jana Bean, 17.65, $560.02; 8. Jean Winters, 17.66, $448.02; 9/10. Hayden Segelke ®, 17.70, $364.01; 9/10. Trula Churchill, 17.70, $364.01; 11. Layna Kight, 17.71, $280.011; 12/13. C.J. Vondette ®, 17.73, $112.00; 12/13. Hope Sickler, 17.73, $112.00