story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Kelli Kamm
story by Lily Weinacht
Arizona is the latest home of barrel racer Kelli Kamm, and The Grand Canyon State is giving her rodeo career and horse breeding business a new climate—and new possibilities.
Born and raised in Idaho, Kelli moved to Oregon with her family in high school and stayed for the next 30-some years, marrying her sweetheart from junior rodeos, Brett, 25 years ago. “We have nice horses and a Judge Cash stud, and we’re raising some babies and hope to go a long way with them,” says Kelli, 48. “We knew the cold weather wasn’t part of the program.” She and Brett and their daughter, Kaci Rae, relocated to Tonopah, Arizona, last July, where Kelli and Kaci Rae joined the GCPRA. “The secretaries are wonderful, and the judges are all great. They work hard to get the ground right, and that’s a big part of barrel racing is that the ground has got to be safe,” says Kelli. “I’m very pleased with how they’ve run the rodeos, and I’m really glad to be a part of the Grand Canyon.”
Like Kelli, both her children—22-year-old Kaci Rae and 24-year-old Koty—went to college on full-ride rodeo scholarships. Kelli attended Walla Walla Community College in Washington and was ready to transfer to a school in Wyoming when her brother was in a serious car accident. She set college aside to help care for him, then went on to manage a quarter horse farm in Kennewick, Washington. She later went to Colorado State University and got her certification as an A.I. technician. “We have broodmares and babies and two stallions, so we have 22 head of horses,” says Kelli, who also takes in outside horses and trains them for barrel racing or roping. “We have 5-8 horses to ride every day. My husband starts all of our colts and any outside horses that need starting, and he does a wonderful job to where I can get on and start training and enjoy myself. My husband is a huge support—he just lets me chase my dreams. He’s an electrician, and he ropes with the kids as much as possible. We rope together at home and we like to hit jackpots. My mom has supported me through thick and thin, and so has Jackie Hanson,” Kelli adds. “Kelli Currin out of Washington is one of my heroes, and Randy Rae Britt is an inspiration to me, and I hope and pray I can be half as good as her.”
Kelli’s two geldings, whom she rides in GCPRA and PRCA Turquoise Circuit rodeos, are Paints His Shirt Red “Walter” and Jackson, a 7-year-old gelding by Darkelly. “Walter is an appendix gelding out of a cow bred mare. The quote people say is, ‘He’s so fast it’s freaky,’ but he’s cool and lots of fun, and easy to win on. I just bought Jackson last August and he’s a handful, but he’s come a long way. He went to his first pro rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. I threw him to the wolves and he came out on top. He placed there and at Brawley, California, and he won fifth in the open at the Idaho Barrel Futurity out of 400-plus runners.” Kelli also plans to futurity their stallion Judges Pop N Kernel his 5-year-old year, along with his future offspring.
Before moving to Arizona, Kelli competed on the PRCA Columbia River Circuit and qualified for the Dodge National Circuit Finals on a gelding named Diesel, who is now helping one of Kelli’s young friends start her rodeo career. Kelli’s latest goal is to make the GCPRA finals, and after qualifying for The American Semi-Finals this February on Jackson, she aims to qualify both her horses next year and advance to The American. She also enjoys being on the bleacher side of sports, going to watch baseball games with her family, but horseback is Kelli’s favorite seat in the house. “I also want to make it to the circuit finals here and see what the future holds for me and my two geldings,” she says. “I think it holds some great things, and I’m excited.”