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Randi Buchanan: The Iron Woman

By Alexandria Trujillo, Panhandle State Collegian on 02/14/2017 Randi Buchanan (right) won the Iron Woman title at the 2017 K-State Iron Woman in Manhattan, Kan. on February 4. —Courtesy photo Randi Buchanan (right) won the Iron Woman title at the 2017 K-State Iron Woman in Manhattan, Kan. on February 4. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University senior and rodeo team member, Randi Buchanan can add the title of “Iron Woman” to her long list of impressive accomplishments. An all-around cowgirl, Buchanan recently competed in and won the 2017 K-State Iron Woman event held in Manhattan, Kan. on February 4. 

The Iron Woman is an all-female, timed event where women of all ages compete in barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway and team roping. To participate in this event, one must enter at least three of the four events. Participants can enter multiple times, on different horses for each event, however, you have to designate which horse will be the one you earn points on. The idea is to place at the top of the events to earn the most points.

Randi had the opportunity to compete at this event and she did not disappoint. “I was very excited, honestly, not just to win it but to have all of my horses work outstanding. That is a great feeling going into the spring season and winning a saddle always starts off the year right.”

The cowgirl explained that her main goal during this event was “to get a young horse of mine (Playa) in the arena before our college rodeo there.”

She decided to designate Playa as her horse in breakaway, her horse Kitten in barrel racing and her boyfriend’s horse Captain for goat tying.

She explained, “between the three of them they really pulled through. I ended up winning the barrels on Playa, but I was fourth on Kitten so I still managed to get the points for the barrels. Playa worked outstanding in the breakaway, placing second. Then I had a solid run in the goat tying. With all that, I ended up earning the most points in the three events and got me a new Burns saddle.”

Randi is from Reno, Nev. and has come to Panhandle State as a rodeo competitor and biology major. She stated, “I followed a boy here, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the community, OPSU has really made me the competitor that I am today.”

She adores Panhandle State, elaborating that her teachers and coaches are phenomenal. “They made this transition easy and have truly helped my dreams come true.”

Assistant rodeo coach Shelbie Weeder said, “Randi is a hard worker and a huge asset to the team. To win the ‘Iron Woman” is great accomplishment and speaks to Randi’s ability to compete in all events. We are looking forward to the spring season with her.”

Randi was the 2015 Reserve Champion breakaway roper at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in addition to earning the third place position in the women’s all-around the same year at the CNFR.

Every year, Randi goes to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), which she labels “the Super Bowl of Rodeos.” She loves going, and explained, “this past year was a little more special because I knew a lot for the competitors there and it’s pretty cool watching their success and cheering for them.”

After graduating from Panhandle this May, Buchanan plans to train barrel horses. She hopes to make her way to professional rodeos and maybe even compete in the NFR herself one day.

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