Leia Pluemer, a resident of Bosque Farms, won the Pendleton Barrel Race in Pendleton, Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Pluemer and her horse, Sister, ran the course at the Pendleton Round-Up in 28.84 on their winning run. Across two runs, the duo put up a time of 57.65.
“My mom always says I’ve been riding since before I could walk and I’m 26 years old, so I’ve been doing rodeo about that long,” Pluemer said.
“She grew up barrel racing and rodeoing so I got this from her.”
Pluemer had previously competed at Pendleton in 2019, finishing fifth in the barrel race.
“I’ve known all along I wanted to come back here. I knew whatever happened this summer I needed to go back to Pendleton, it’s a cool rodeo,” Pluemer said.
“They call the rodeo there the green mile, its a mile worth of running on what was originally a football field.
“Because it’s all grass it’s different than any other rodeo we run at all year.”
The first Pendleton Round-Up was held in September of 1910, and is one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the country.
Pluemer came out on top in a razor thin field, with the top 12 riders all separated by less than a second.
Pluemer has been riding Sister, who is 10 years old, since 2017.
“She’s the boss mare, she thinks she’s the leader all the time,” Pluemer said.
“I kind of have to go with what she feels or what she thinks since I’m on her back and she’s doing all the hard work.”
Pluemer was the fourth of the 11 finalists to run and had to sit and watch as the next seven riders attempted to knock her off the top spot.
“It was nervewracking waiting,” She said.
“I knew I had to be about the same time or faster to be in there (at the end) but of course it depends on the other girls as well.”
In the end, Pluemer and Sister retained the top spot.
“It was really exciting to win, it’s not like any other rodeo with the times being at 28 seconds instead of 17 seconds.
“Sister is like the Energizer Bunny, she just loves to run,” Pluemer said.
“I thought this would be a really good setup for her.”