By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports
When the English family left Guthrie, Okla., a few days ago to make the drive back to Bossier City after the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo, their trailer was a little heavier than when it left home.
There were quite a few awards to bring back, most notably the buckle that read, “2022 Senior Girls Pole Bending Reserve World Champion.”
When the national finals began on July 4, 17-year-old Landan English was leading the world rankings in pole bending. The champion would be determined by the average of three go-rounds to be held over the seven days of competition.
After placing ninth in the 1st Go, English won the 2nd Go and collected $931.50 – setting up the all-important Short Go. After she finished third in the Short Go and the results from all three rounds were averaged, English finished in second place – making her the reserve champion.
When all was said and done, the awards loaded into the trailer included: the reserve world champion buckle, spurs for third place in the Short Go (and $918), the buckle for second place in the reserve average, the buckle for winning the 2nd Go (and $931.50), and a $700 NLBRA Scholarship Award. English also finished 13th in the all-around competition.
While closing out the rodeo season as the reserve world champion was “a great feeling,” it also gave English a little incentive.
“It makes me want to push harder to win next year,” said English. “I need to do the same thing, but just be more consistent with the poles – and not hit any. Also, in the Short Go the string came undone on my hat and got in my face.”
There won’t be much time for the English family to rest after their successful trip to Oklahoma. On Thursday, they’ll load up the horse trailer (with live-in quarters) and make the 19-hour drive to Gillette, Wyo., for the High School Finals Rodeo. Held from July 17-23, the event is billed as the largest outdoor rodeo in the world with over 1600 contestants.
Having her family travel with her is an extra bonus for Landan, the 2022 Louisiana High School Rodeo Association Champion All-Around Cowgirl. Her mom Bobbiann is a four-time high school champion (1993-96) and her sister Katie (10) also competes nationally.
“It’s really fun traveling with my family,” said Landan, whose dream is to be a professional barrel racer. “They calm my nerves.”
Contact Harriet at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by BOBBIANN SCOTT ENGLISH