story by Lindsey Fancher The fourteen-year-old cowboy from the Mardi Gras city of Church Point, LA, did a lot more than ribbon rope during High […]
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Meet the Member Ella Kay
story by Claire Vincent
Ella Kay is the 11 year old daughter of Brian and DeAnne Kay from Iowa, Louisiana. Ella’s dad, Brian, was a calf roper, and he got Ella, and her older sister, Addison, started in rodeo. Ella started riding around the time she was four years old, and started competing in Little Britches rodeo when she was seven years old. Addison is going into her freshman year, and has competed in LHSRA rodeos before, but the 2021 rodeo season will be Ella’s first year to be a member of the Louisiana Junior High School Rodeo Association and she cannot wait to start this new journey. She says, “I’m so excited to make new friends, and to compete with old ones. I can’t wait to see how my rookie year will go!” Rodeo has taken up the majority of Ella’s time ever since she started competing, but when she isn’t at school or in the practice pen, she is playing softball. Ella has played softball for the past seven years and is on a travel team called the Gulf Coast Captains.
Ella competes in goat tying, breakaway roping, and ribbon roping. Her favorite event is breakaway because she likes to “rope fast!” Roping fast is exactly what her sixteen- year old, sorrel gelding, “HeMann” allows her to do. HeMann and Ella have been teammates for the past five years. Ella says “He is such a calm and quiet horse with a really smooth stop. He makes my job easier.”
Have you ever heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect”? Well, perfect is just what Ella is striving to be. She practices every day, roping the drag dummy on her young horse, and live calves on HeMann. She also works on her goat tying dismounts, and does slow work on the ground. Ella tries to keep everything the same at a rodeo as she does in the practice pen. Before each run I tell myself, “just go do what you know how to do.”
The bible verse, Philippians 4:13, is something she keeps on her mind. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It reminds her that God has a plan for her, and that if she works hard she can accomplish anything. Ella ended up second in the average and the winner of the short-go in the 12 and under at the Patriot in 2020. “I felt like all my hard work in the practice pen was finally paying off.” Ella says, that is the win she is most proud of, but she’s not finished yet. She wants to be exactly like her idol, Lari D Guy. Lari D Guy is an eight-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champion with more than $1.5 million dollars in career earnings. In 2013, she launched the “Rope Like a Girl” campaign to motivate girls in the roping industry. Motivating Ella is exactly what Lari D Guy has done. “She is one of the best breakaway ropers there is and she has won so many roping’s, yet she is still so humble. That’s what I want to be like one day.” Says Ella.
One of Ella’s main goals is to win a LHSRA state championship then go on to be a National Junior High and High School Rodeo Association world champion. She still has a lot of time to think about what she wants to do after high school, but for the most part, she has it figured out. Ella plans to become a nurse or a therapist. She is still indecisive on where she wants to go to college, but she knows she wants to college rodeo. Ella even has her mind set on being a professional breakaway roper, and qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.