Kinder grad top contender in breakaway roping

By By Alex Onken / American Press

Lanie Courville is a top qualifier for the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association in breakaway roping.

The youngest child and only daughter of Leisha and Paul Courville, Courville is a recent graduate of Kinder High School.

During her four years there, she was vice president of Kinder High’s Future Farmers of America chapter, a member of the state’s

horse judging team, played basketball for two years, and was third place on the state forestry team.

Academically, she completed 12 hours of college classes, as well as earning her certificate to work as a certified nursing

assistant from Oakdale Technical College in Oakdale.

Courville has been involved in rodeo for 13 years, starting at age 5. She also participates in pole-bending.

She was put on a horse at 6 months old and was riding on her own by the time she was 2 years old.

“It’s one of the best sports you can do,” Courville said. “It just is. I played basketball for the first two years of high

school, and I quit so I could dedicate more time to do it.”

Growing up around horses and livestock, she participated in different rodeo organizations through the years, such as the DeRidder Riding Club, Little Britches Rodeo Association and

the Allen Parish Rodeo Association.

“There’s all kinds of organizations and riding clubs,” she said. “You have a lot of opportunity to rodeo when you’re younger.

“My best rodeo experience would have been at nationals, my sophomore year of high school, when I made it in the breakaway

roping. I ended up fourth in the first round. It’s just exciting — the adrenaline rush. It made me more dedicated to that

sport, to that event.”

She will attend McNeese in the fall to study nursing.

However, that doesn’t mean she’s done with rodeo. She plans to continue when she can.

“I’m just going to slack off of rodeo and concentrate on my studies, which for going in to nursing you have to,” she said.

“Just like I’m dedicated to this, I have to be dedicated on getting my nursing degree.”

Instead of being a part of McNeese’s

rodeo team, she plans to join the Louisiana Rodeo Cowboys Association, a

nonprofit organization.

The LRCA will give her the option of being able to rodeo on her

own accord.

“Because I’m going into nursing, the LRCA gives me the option of not going to a rodeo,” she said. “If I have too much homework

or I need to study, I can just not go. Whereas college, you pretty much have to go if you want to go to nationals.”

When asked about some of the biggest

life skills she’s taken away from rodeo, she said, “Definitely

dedication, responsibility,

willingness to learn new things, respecting others, definitely

sportsmanship. Rodeo has the best sportsmanship that you ask

for, and making friends for a lifetime.”