Laura Moore ’08 entered on a whim, beat the cowboys, and took home the top title.

The Washington State University equestrian coach bested the second-place finisher by 5 seconds, riding the mechanical bull at Spangle, Washington’s Harvester Restaurant for 57 seconds during its recent mechanical bull riding “world championship.”

Laura Moore rides the mechanical bull in Spangle
Laura Moore rides the mechanical bull in Spangle (Photo Melaine Williams)


The contest was inspired by the 1980 film Urban Cowboy.

Moore, of Moscow, Idaho, grew up riding horses. “I signed up thinking I could probably win something. But I didn’t expect to win the whole thing, especially when I saw professional cowboys and rodeo clowns,” she says.

Fourth-place finisher Kyla Gabriel ’16 rode for Moore at WSU, where Moore specializes in English-style riding.

Moore won the $4,000 grand prize, plus $500 for getting to the top 10 and a commemorative belt buckle naming her the mechanical bull riding champion of the world. She’s planning to defend her title next year.