Meet the Member: The Lucas Family, NLBRA

The Lucas Family, NLBRA, Rodeo News

Meet the Member

The Lucas Family

story by Lily Weinacht

ckayla, Laura, Jacqueline, Lydia, Rich and Sam Lucas

Mckayla, Laura, Jacqueline, Lydia, Rich and Sam Lucas

Meet the Lucas family: Rich, Laura, and their children Allison (19), Mckayla (17), Jacqueline (14), Sam (13), and Lydia (8). Judging by their 12 horses, two horse trailers, and their collection of cowboy boots, a person might not guess that the Lucases just became rodeo people in 2009. The family acknowledges that their home in Jordan, Minn., is not the rodeo capital of the world – but they are doing their best to change that. “Minnesota is the land of ten thousand lakes, so it’s all about hunting, ice fishing and boating,” says Rich. Thus Rich and Laura and their children started a Little Britches franchise in Minnesota in 2013, calling it Little Britches Rodeo of Minnesota.
The beginning of the Lucas’s journey to rodeo really started more than ten years ago. Although Rich had competed in barrels and poles as a child until fifth grade, Laura didn’t have a background in horses. When their oldest daughter, Allison, turned eight, Allison’s grandma, Nikki Lucas, bought her a pleasure pony named Annie. But Annie had no intention of being a pleasure pony, so Allison and her grandma trained the pony for games in the Western Saddle Club Association (WSCA).
Annie excelled in the WSCA, but Allison eventually outgrew her. The Lucases were acquainted with world champion barrel racer and two time WNFR qualifier Jane Melby, and she invited them to come look at a horse she had for sale. The Lucases didn’t buy the horse right away, but Melby invited them to come ride, and when she saw Sam and their pony together, she said, ‘Do NLBRA’. Thinking they could just try a few rodeos, the Lucases started entering Sam and Allison into Little Britches rodeos in South Dakota in 2009. Sam and Allison qualified in 2010 for the NLBFR, driving 17 hours to Pueblo, Colo., and Sam won the Little Wrangler World Championship in pole bending on Annie. It was the finishing touch to the Lucas family’s dive into rodeo. They signed up for high school rodeo on their way home from the NLBFR.
After several years of crossing the state line into South Dakota to do Little Britches rodeos, the Lucases decided to start a franchise of Little Britches in their home state. They hold many of their rodeos at Lee Mar Ranch in Granite Falls, Minn. “We’ve had a lot of people join from the Minnesota Rodeo Association (MRA), the WSCA, and the Sioux River and Flandreau Little Britches franchises,” Laura explains. “We share Little Britches sanctioned stock contractors and judges. Our hope is to also bring in kids from high school rodeo to compete.”
Allison finished her last year with Little Britches in 2013. Mckayla was the 2014 NLBFR Senior Girls Pole Bending Champion. She also competes in barrel racing, goat tying, and team roping, as well as cutting in high school rodeo. Her sister Jacqueline will be joining her in the senior girls division next summer. “I think it will work good,” says Mckayla. Her mom adds, “If we can’t support each other as a family, then we’re not going to compete against each other. We’re a family and we’re going to compete together as a team.” Jacqueline’s events are pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, ribbon roping, barrel racing, and team roping. She will be a freshman in high school, and switched from public school to a private school with just 16 people in her grade.
Sam competes in flag racing, goat tying, and breakaway, ribbon and team roping. He loves to snowboard and goes bow hunting with his youth pastor, and is known to show up for drum practice at his church in his cowboy hat and boots, since he’s usually coming from a rodeo or going to one. His secret to living with four sisters is, “Help them out, get out of their way, and spend a lot of time with Dad.” Being the only boy has its responsibilities, of course, like putting bugs in his sisters’ beds or hanging Lydia from a doorway by her ankles with duct tape.
Lydia’s events are goat tail untying, barrel racing, pole bending, and flag racing, with pole bending being her favorite to compete in. She competes wearing her favorite hat made by her aunt who owns Do Not Conform Hat Company. Lydia and Sam were homeschooled for several years and are now attending the same school as Jacqueline. Lydia is a third grader and enjoys reading.
Rodeo is now the Lucas family’s one hobby. Rich uses all his vacation time to go with his kids to their rodeos. “When the kids first got into horses, I had no time for it at all. All I could think about was what I needed to get done at work,” says Rich. “The Lord really changed my heart. I talked to my friend Larry Jansen who has two girls in barrel racing. He said ‘The best thing I’ve ever done is have those girls in my truck, be their coach, and they think I’m cool.’ Now that’s all I think about – spending time with my kids.”

Allison Lucas
Jacqueline Lucas
Lydia Lucas
Mckayla Lucas
Sam Lucas

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