story by Lindsay Humphrey This is only Hayden Stump’s second season competing in the OHSRA, but he’s adjusted well to stiff competition in both the […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Austin Christensen
story by Lindsay King
Nineteen-year-old Austin Christensen keeps busy at each OHSRA event he attends since he competes in six very different events: saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, cutting and reined cow horse. “My favorite events are cutting and saddle bronc riding. I have always had a really good cutting teacher, Shannon Hall. I like the horsemanship of it and the level of competition in the state. The first time I got on a saddle bronc I was in the seventh grade at Robert Etbaurs school. I have gone back every year since then,” said the Laverne, Oklahoma, cowboy. Austin said no two rides on a saddle bronc are alike, adding to the challenge of the event.
“My dad, Jeff, was a horse trainer and he took my oldest sister Lisa, 25, to AQHA horse shows and got her started in that. She eventually switched to rodeo and I have followed in her footsteps. My other sister Cheyenne, 21, was more into rodeo and cutting. Essentially we have all done cutting at one point or another.” Austin first realized he liked riding something that bucked when his dad started letting him ride the broncy colts he was training. “My dad has been a big influence in my rodeo career, all the time and money spent taking me to events and teaching me new things. My mom Vicky also deserves a lot of credit for my rodeo career success.” Austin can always hear his dad yelling from the chutes telling him to lift during his saddle bronc rides. Between his dad and Rodney Barby, Austin has stayed competitive in all his events. “Rodney taught me how to swing a rope. Rodney and my dad are the reason I have been able to keep tie-down and team roping.”
Austin works for his dad at Christensen Quarter Horses and hopes to continue riding cutting horses in the future. “I am planning to rodeo for Panhandle State University. After that I would like to get a welding rig to have on the side while I am rodeoing in the PRCA.” The Laverne High School junior plans to pro rodeo in saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling. “My rodeo goals right now are to make it to Nationals again and then the CNFR in the next few years. If I am good enough and do everything that I need to, then maybe make it to the NFR, God-willing.” With four trips to Nationals under his belt, Austin has the experience to make his final year one to remember in high school rodeo.
“I was the All-Around cowboy in the OHSRA last year. I won the first round of cutting at Nationals and then I was able to ride two of the three saddle broncs. I was just proud to be at Nationals competing on that level with some really good competitors.” He was the OHSRA rookie of the year as a freshman and reserve All-Rround cowboy as a sophomore. “I am chasing the all-around title again this year, I am leading it so far but it is far from being wrapped up.” Lacking in confidence in his first saddle bronc ride of the year led to Austin’s proudest moment in rodeo so far. “I just went back to what I knew and did what I needed to. I like having all my buddies and my dad with me behind the chutes. The best feeling is jumping off after a good ride and being able to still hear my dad from the chutes.”
Austin’s dad was president of the OHSRA for seven years. “Everyone pretty well knows my dad and me by association. It is a good place to go to compete, have fun and share the love of rodeo that we all have. There is a lot of great talent in the OHSRA, but the best part is the people. The atmosphere is great, and it is always very competitive.”