Big Sandy cowgirl dies in riding mishap


A simple outing turned tragic this weekend, claiming the life of a local equestrian.

Nineteen-year-old Laceen Ophus, a Big Sandy native, college student and rodeo star, was killed during a horseback ride south of Havre Sunday. The loss of Ophus, described as fun-loving and energetic, has devastated friends and family.

"She lived so much in her not quite 20 years," her mother, Barb Ophus, said today. "She lived more than most of us do in our whole lives."

Ophus, a member of the Big Sandy Saddle Club and the Hi-Line Barrel Racing Club, loved animals and lived for rodeo, her mother said.


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