Lauren Youngquist Headed To National Jr. High Rodeo Finals

In what is perhaps a first for Sidney Youth Rodeo, Montana State Junior High breakaway roping champion Lauren Youngquist is headed to Nationals in Des Moines, IA, the end of June where she will compete against girls from all over the U.S., five Canadian provinces, Mexico and Australia. There are a total of 12 performances and she will compete Monday night, June 24 at 7 p.m. and Friday morning June 28 at 9 a.m. You can catch her performance on the Cowboy Channel+.

The daughter of J.C. and Kim Youngquist, Sidney, Lauren has been rodeoing since the age of five but started breakaway roping about four years ago as a 5th grader.

Breakaway roping involves tying a string to the end of a rope which is tied to the saddle horn. The contestant ropes the calf around its neck, the calf keeps running until the string breaks, providing the time. Kim said that this event is the up and coming thing for women in rodeo. Since 2020, it has been held the day or two prior to the start of the NFR in Las Vegas, NV, each December but many in the field of women's rodeo are looking forward to it being held just like barrel racing or tie down roping during the NFR regular performances.

Lauren also competed in ribbon roping, barrel racing, goat tying and pole bending at State in Dillon, making it to the short go in three out of five.

According to her mom, Lauren had a rough start to the spring season as at the end of the fall season her horse, Olaf, suffered a fractured leg and had to be put down. She practiced this spring on her brother's calf horse and sister's breakaway horse. "Even though Lauren was faced with the obstacle of figuring out these new horses to her she never gave up," Kim said. "Having to work harder made winning this title even sweeter for her. She was really determined to do this," she added proudly.

This isn't the first trip Youngquists have made to Nationals. Lauren's older brother, Garrett, attended as reserve champion calf roper, chute dogger and champion light rifle. Their younger daughter, Emma, who will be in 7th grade this fall also competes in breakaway roping and goat tying.

"I never rodeoed. I have a whole new appreciation of the sport," Kim stated. She thanked Kristin and Tim Larson and Cathy Wieferich for getting her kids involved in rodeo. "Kristin and Tim along with the Wieferich family are some of the biggest supporters of youth athletics. We are blessed to be in the Richland County Rodeo Club with them," Kim said. She also encouraged everyone to come out this fall to the RCRC 46th Annual YRA, Jr. and High School Rodeo which will be Aug. 30-31at the Richland County Fairgrounds to watch youth from the ages of 5-18 compete.

Best of Luck Lauren!


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