story by Lily Landreth Jaytyn Hash took home his first NLBRA world title at the 2019 NLBFR last summer in the team roping, a victory […]
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All Around Senior Girl
story by Michele Toberer
Starting out with the National Little Britches Association as a Little Wrangler when she was only 5 years old, Kelsy Odom couldn’t feel more blessed to have achieved the ultimate NLBRA World Champion Senior All-Around Cowgirl status she recently acquired at the 2019 NLBFR in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The 16-year-old rising junior in high school from Beebe, Arkansas is grateful for all the experiences that led up to this monumental moment in her life. “I’ve honestly always wanted to win this title, I’ve won state all-around titles, but winning the world title is just amazing. We were constantly in prayer all week and prayed that God would make a path for me. It was amazing to then see how prayer, faith, and God’s path, took me straight to this title.”
Kelsy left the Lazy E Arena as the 2019 NLBRA team roping and trail course world champion, as well as the reserve champion ribbon roper, in addition to her all-around championship. Her supportive parents, Eric and April Odom were extremely excited to see their daughter’s years of preparation pay off at the finals. Eric, a general contractor, put aside his own team roping aspirations to focus his time on Kelsy’s rodeo career, and April, who is a homemaker, is right there to help with anything her daughter, and son, Landon Tarvin, 22, need to accomplish their goals. “I was born into rodeo and used to team rope with my brother in junior rodeo associations when he was younger. My dad quit roping to let me go, and I think he gets enjoyment out of sitting back and watching me compete now. He comes home late at night and discs the arena, pens steers, works the chute, and helps with anything I need; he’s supplied me with everything and is my biggest supporter.”
Chase Applewhite, the 2019 NLBRA Champion All-Around Senior Cowboy, has been Kelsy’s partner several times in the NLBRA over the years and was happy to head steers for her to make the win this year. He also was Kelsy’s roper in ribbon roping, and the team’s success in both events, definitely played a big part in both Chase and Kelsy’s world champion all-around titles. Chase used Kelsy’s 13-year-old dun gelding, Pretty Boy, to ribbon rope, while Kelsy also used Pretty Boy to heel for Chase in team roping; so, he was a big part of their success as well. “It was definitely teamwork all the way! I’ve had a hard time clicking with Pretty Boy over the past two years, so coming together with him at finals was awesome.”
“My miracle horse is Ricky Bobby; after all the trauma he’s been through it is honestly a huge blessing to even be able to ride him, much less win the world trail course title on him. He’s my once in a lifetime horse.” Ricky Bobby, a 16-year-old sorrel she’s had for 8 years, had back to back injuries, but after lots of care he is back to 95% sound. ”He ran under a gooseneck trailer and broke his shoulder, and after nearly two years of recovery, stepped on a piece of welding rod that went straight into his frog and infected the bottom bone in his hoof.” Kelsy won the 2017 NLBRA world champion junior breakaway roping title on Ricky Bobby, and used to heel on him, but this year he was her trail horse.
After being homeschooled her sophomore year, Kelsy is looking forward to her junior year at Searcy High School and is thinking of attending Beebe Community College to start her studies towards becoming a large animal veterinarian once she graduates.
“A 14-year-old boy from Arkansas, Brander Smith, died after a roping accident while he was preparing to compete at the NJHFR and NLBFR this summer. I was his heeler during my first year in the NLBRA junior division, and his family and mine are friends. He was on my mind and in my prayers as I competed at the NLBFR, and I was there riding in his honor. Even though I won this world title, Brander is with Jesus now, and he has won an even better world champion title with the legacy that he’s left behind. Rest in peace Brander.”