story by Lily Weinacht Wes Bray clinched his goal for his final season of high school rodeo, finishing in the top 20 in the nation […]
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Meet the Member Daycia Kohl
story by Lily Weinacht
Douglas, Wyoming, native Daycia Kohl is the 2016-2017 WHSRA Rodeo Queen. The third generation of her family to rodeo, the 18 year old took a traditional route of competing in gymkhanas and working her way into junior high and high school competition. Yet her family has also been representing the sport of rodeo in unique ways starting with her grandpa, Gary Walker, who founded Rodeo Bible Camp. “He rodeoed growing up, and he saw kids unable to learn rodeo without spending a bunch of money,” Daycia explains. “He wanted to change that, but also give kids the opportunity to learn good ethics inside and outside the arena, and that’s something he’s taught me as well.”
Along with serving as the state high school rodeo queen, Daycia competes in barrel racing, pole bending, and most recently, breakaway roping. She went to her first roping clinic with Paul Tierney in August. “I enjoy barrels because I’ve been doing them the longest, and I enjoy watching my horse and myself progress each weekend,” she says. Daycia was inspired to run for royalty in part by her mom, Adeline Walker-Kohl, who held the Crawford, Nebraska, rodeo queen title. “She pushes me every day, and is always encouraging. Mom has taught me about Jesus Christ, which has had an important impact on my life, and she works so hard for me and my sister to keep our family going. Her work ethic is admirable.
“My greatest motivation to be a rodeo queen is to teach people about the sport of rodeo. Especially in high school, it’s not only based on competing, but who you are outside the arena, and who you’re around. Everyone’s families are involved, and it’s a close bond. It takes hard work and dedication to compete, and those are good things that transfer over to everyday life.”
Daycia is currently training her mare, Royal, for barrel racing, having used her sister’s mare, Pistol, for barrels and poles in the past. “I named her Royal before I got my title, so it’s not so cliché,” Daycia explains with a laugh. “She’s adapting really well to barrels, and I’ve had the opportunity to ride Dick Fenster’s horse Chili Dog for queening and breakaway roping.” She and her sister, Jenielle, also run a breeding program based off one of their grandpa’s studs. “Our grandpa had been breeding horses for years, but then that died off. He still had his stud, so four years ago, we decided to buy several mares and start it again. Our grandpa’s brand is Circle W, so we’re calling it the Circle W Breeding Program. We start all the colts, and then sell some of them. The hardest thing has been deciding which ones we can’t keep, because we get pretty attached.”
Jenielle is a sophomore in the vet-tech program at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, competing on the college rodeo team, while Daycia is a senior at Douglas High School. She enjoys her English and Welding II classes, and is the reporter for her FFA and SkillsUSA chapters. “SkillsUSA is similar to FFA in subjects that lead into the workforce. I do the photography and writing for our events, and I’m in charge of the scrapbook that goes to our county fair, and the PowerPoint presentation for our banquet.” She also sings soprano 1 in the EWC Douglas college choir, and played clarinet and mandolin throughout junior high.
Daycia plans to college rodeo in the Central Rocky Mountain Region, and hopes to pursue a degree related to agriculture. “This is the first royalty title I’ve held, and I don’t plan on stopping there,” she finishes. “Depending on the college I go to, I’ll try out for the college or the county’s rodeo queen. My ultimate goal is to win Miss Rodeo Wyoming!”