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Moore looking strong heading into Finals

Three years of competing at the college rodeo in the U.S. has turned Chelsea Moore into a pretty solid rodeo competitor.

Three years of competing at the college rodeo in the U.S. has turned Chelsea Moore into a pretty solid rodeo competitor.

The Pouce Coupe cowgirl has always been a standout whether it be in the amateur and high school ranks when she lived in the Peace Country or for the past three years at the U.S. college level.

But now she's coming into her own as one of the top rodeo competitors in her college region and one of those to watch at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) at the Casper Events Centre Sunday through Saturday when she will be competing in breakaway roping, barrel racing and goat tying.

But it was no easy feat. Just getting to the finals has been a challenge, but one that Moore has successfully met. After all, only the top three competitors and the top two teams in a particular event in each of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's 11 regions qualify for the CNFR.

In breakaway roping and barrel racing Moore was right near the top of the standings this season.

"It (breakaway roping) went really good. It was the best of my three. I tied the region with another girl on my team, so that was my best event. I have a lot of confidence and am roping really well," explained Moore, adding that she also did well in barrel racing.

"I ended up second in the region. That (barrel racing) was another one that was really good. The toughest girl in all of college rodeo is in our region, and we battled it out all year. She ended up winning it in the end, but I was really excited. My horse ran awesome all year, so I am really excited about that one, too."

Goat tying gave Moore some problems. She shone, but not as brightly as she did in the other two events. However, she still qualified because competitors can qualify for the CNFR individually or as members of a team, she was picked by her coach to be a member of the Gillette College's regional-qualifying team.

"The goat tying wasn't so great. I didn't have a very good year, but I had enough points that I qualified on the team," said the general studies student.

It's not the first time Moore has been to the granddaddy of college rodeos in the U.S. As a member of the Central Wyoming College in Riverton, where she spent her first two years of college life before switching to Gillette College this year, she also qualified for the CNFR. That experience has primed her for next week's finals and given her a pretty good idea what to expect when over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 colleges and universities compete for national titles.

"I got to go in goat tying in my freshman year and I got to go in the barrel racing last year, so I have been there in two events. The breakaway roping will be a little new to me, but I feel like I have a little bit of experience and there are no nerves at all. I am excited, and I think I am ready."

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