Darcy LaPier is a model turned award-winning rodeo barrel racer, and sometimes, even she can’t believe the transformation. “Who ever thought I would be in this sport?!” she tells Haute Living with a laugh. “It’s a speed event. It’s the only sport for women in professional rodeo. You enter the arena and you run your horse as fast as you can go around three barrels in a clover leaf pattern. Fastest time wins.”
LaPier is taking her rodeo career to the next level by serving as the star and executive producer of A&E’s newest reality television program, “Rodeo Girls,” which follows the lives of professional barrel racers in the western circuit. The two-day premiere kicks off tonight at 11 PM, followed by an additional hour long show tomorrow at 10 PM. “It’s ruff and tumble fun… a little glamorous and very real,” she explains with a smirk. “Real Life. Real drama.”
While the show promises plenty of dramatic moments, LaPier insists it will really delve into the lives of the “Rodeo Girls.” So, expect to see all three of LaPier’s children, particularly Nicholas Van Damme (her son with actor Jean-Claude Van Damme) throughout the six-week series. “You’ll see him a lot in the show,” reveals LaPier. “He’s very handsome, very dynamic, very funny.” Much like LaPier herself, a former model that launched her Hollywood career by winning a Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Lotion beauty contest.
Though LaPier has made many lifelong friends in the rodeo world, she says there will always be jealous people that she needs to watch out for. “But that doesn’t bother me,” she states confidently. “I come from being in beauty pageants and being in swimsuit competitions and things like that where women are jealous. Haters are your biggest fans.”
Despite her country upbringing, LaPier says she feels a strong connection to the cosmopolitan lifestyle. “I love the city,” she exclaims. “I love being able to go down to Madison Avenue and do some shopping. And go to the real Rodeo Drive,” she adds with a laugh.
For now, LaPier says that by living in Oregon she has the best of both worlds—she can wake up and ride her horses, take a day-trip to L.A., and make it home in time for the evening news. “I don’t know if there’s room in the city for my horses,” she ponders. “I don’t know, maybe seeing me a year from now, you’ll make me a total fibber about the whole thing and I’ll have a stable in the middle of New York City!”