What do barrels, poles and goats have in common? Horsemanship competition.
By AMY HOUSLEY
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- With barely time to catch her breath after the Trumbull County Fair, which ended Sunday, Kylie Wells was in New Mexico today to compete for the title of National High School Rodeo Association Queen.
"I knew it would be a lot of work," the 16-year-old Hubbard girl said of her recent crowning as queen of the Ohio High School Rodeo Association.
A daughter of Calvin and Tammy Wells of Hubbard, Kylie has been in rodeos since she was 12, when she learned about it through her sister's friends. She got involved in the high school association a year ago.
At the state level, contests were judged on modeling, a two-minute speech, an impromptu speech, a personal interview and two rounds of horsemanship. She said the areas of judging are the same for national competition, but there are "a lot more people involved."
One queen from each of the NHSRA's 44 states and provinces will compete for the title.
The queen's duties
As Ohio's queen, she will spend a year promoting rodeo.
"I just want to get out there and tell more people about the rodeo," she said. She feels that the promotion is important because there are many who compete in rodeos but don't know about the high school association.
Wells participates in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying.
Barrel racing consists of riders running a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels. The pole competition has six poles through which riders must weave. Goat tying is similar to calf roping -- a goat is set loose in an arena and, after jumping off the horse, the rider must get the goat to the ground and tie three of its legs together. The fastest time wins all competition.
"There's a lot of stuff that goes on," Wells said about competing in rodeos. Horses must be in shape and worked with consistently, in addition to the other details that go into shows.
Wells plans to continue in rodeos, even after high school.
She said her favorite part of rodeo "would have to be the thrill you get," saying it makes her feel "really good and really important."