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Meet the Member Kylie Mayfield
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Kylie Mayfield is in her final year of high school rodeo competition. The barrel racer, a resident of Doyline, La., and a member of the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association, has run barrels since she was two years old. She rides a ten-year-old gelding named Big Man, who has a back hock injury and will hopefully return to competition next month. Because he was injured, last fall she rode her mom’s barrel horse, Ricki, an eight-year-old mare who is “a typical mare. She has her quirks,” Kylie says.
Both horses have been trained by National Finals Rodeo qualifier Michele McLeod. The family took Ricki to McLeod for training, and when they went to check to see how she was doing, they ended up buying Big Man.
Between her two horses, Big Man is her favorite, because he was the second horse she ever rode.
Kylie is a senior at Haughton High School, where her days are full of math class (she loves it) and grammar (she does not love it.) Math is her favorite subject, and she’s currently taking a college class. English is not her favorite, but she is enjoying her senior project, which includes a ten-page research paper and a project, all as part of her final presentation. Her research is on autism, and her project includes teaching an autistic child to ride a horse, and then taking the child to a rodeo, where he or she will run barrels.
Kylie also enjoys her community involvement class, where she helps eighth grade students with math and sometimes grades papers for the teacher.
She is a member of her school’s rodeo club, FCA, Red Jacket Service Club, and SADD (Students against Destructive Decisions.) She holds a 3.9 grade point average and is on the honor roll.
School is important to her, and her parents have stressed that. “My parents aren’t strict with grades, but they want to make sure I do the best I can. Through my high school years, I’ve only had two Bs. My parents want me to get as far as I can with academics.”
This fall, she will attend Louisiana Tech at Ruston, then transfer to LSU or Texas A&M where she hopes to earn a doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Kylie has known since she was young that she wanted to be a vet. “I’ve said I wanted to do it and I’m going to get to, and it’ll be awesome.”