story by Lindsay Humphrey By definition, Laura Lambert was born into rodeo. Both her parents competed professionally; her dad, Dale Motley, primarily in calf roping […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Barb Larsen
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Barb Larsen met her husband, Pat, 52 years ago. They’ve been married for 50 of those years and rodeo’s been a part of every single one of them. “My dad bought and sold horses for a living, so I rode before I could even walk,” said the Brush, Colorado, barrel racer. “I always wanted to run barrels and started when I was about 16. I’ve been doing it ever since.” Together Pat and Bard had three boys – Shane (who passed away when he was 23), JD, and Joshua. The boys grew up around rodeo as their mom ran barrels and dad tried his hand to the back of a bull. Shane and Josh caught the rodeo bug and followed in their dad’s footsteps into the bull riding.
“We hauled the boys all over for rodeo for many years. Then about 20 years ago, my husband and I started senior pro rodeo.” During the NSPRA finals in Reno in 2006, Pat sustained a career ending injury. Barb has no doubts that he would still be riding bulls if he was physically able to. After Pat’s injury, Barb didn’t compete in the senior pro again until this year. “Joshua told me that when he turned 40, he wanted to do the senior pros with me. He’s riding bulls and I’m running barrels; it’s just like what my husband and I used to do.” Before getting his NSPRA card this year, Josh hadn’t ridden for more than 10 years. “It’s pretty neat that he wanted to travel with me to rodeo.” Barb and Pat both accompanied Josh to some of his early rodeos. It wasn’t until Valentine, Nebraska, that Barb took her turn in the arena.
She’s had both of her barrel horses for the last 17 years. Even though they’re brother and sister, they couldn’t be more different. “I bought my mare [Duchess Bar Fritz] first and she really hunts the barrels. She’s solid built while my gelding [Imma Stormy Bar] looks more like a Thoroughbred even though they’re both Quarter Horses.” Both horses know their job and they do it well, but Barb’s mare has a little sass. “She likes to pin her ears back when she’s getting around those barrels, but she knows what she’s doing. I sent both to a trainer for a month and then my husband and I finished them.” In 2022, Barb will turn 69 but nothing is slowing her down. “[Rodeo] keeps me young and in shape, and I just love doing it. It’s so much fun getting on these powerful horses, I love it.” Just like her husband, Barb said she’ll keep riding and rodeoing until she can’t anymore. She’s optimistic that she’ll be able to introduce rodeo to her grandson, Blayden.
Pat often jokes that Barb’s horses eat better than he does. Barb admits that she spoils her horses but wouldn’t have it any other way. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do, and I love my horses. Running barrels is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was 16 and I’m blessed that I get to keep it up.” When Barb took a step back from rodeo, continued competing in the NBHA and various jackpots. Now that she’s making a come back in the senior pro, Barb’s excited about forging new friendships. “I’ve never met such nice people as I have at the senior pro. The rodeos are great to go to, you get to travel and see so much of the country and meet new people. The people who put them on do such an awesome job. If it wasn’t for them, there wouldn’t be a senior pro. Without the office people, stock contractors, sponsors, we wouldn’t have the senior pro because it takes a lot to put on a rodeo.”