Sophomore Laine Patten’s family connection to MSU might be the reason she came here, but the rodeo competitor truly enjoys what she does. “Both of my parents are MSU alum and my dad competed in MSU rodeo,” she said. The Bozeman native competes in Breakaway Roping and Goat Tying, and enjoys these events because “I get to ride my awesome horses.”
Patten started competing in rodeo at the age of nine or ten. “Both my parents grew up with rodeo, and they got us involved so we could enjoy it too,” she said. Continuing with the family ties, she enjoys hanging out with her four sisters and two brothers and reading in her free time.
Patten is a chemical engineering major, and says her favorite class is organic chemistry, even though she has not taken a large variety of classes yet. She says the key to her success as both a student and an athlete stems from practice, “and lots of it.”
Since rodeo is an individual sport, Patten enjoys having all the pressure on her while she is competing. “It all comes down to how I personally compete,” she said. She has been successful in this, receiving a few scholarships, and winning many buckles and tack while competing. To get ready for competition, “I rope the bale a few times, tie my foot and work on getting my horse warmed up,” she said.
Patten does not plan on continuing in rodeo professionally in the future. “I’m not a barrel racer and unfortunately that is the only professional women’s event offered,” she said. “But I do plan to do some amateur rodeos when time permits.”
The MSU Men and Women are currently leading in the Big Sky Conference. “MSU rodeo is a phenomenal program. We send excellent teams to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) and we always compete at the top. It is worth coming and seeing us at the rodeo!”
Editor’s Note: The MSU Spring Rodeo begins tonight in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. See page 12 for a preview of the rodeo and the calendar on page 18 for event schedule and costs.