story by Kristen Sublette Jenna Fulton, is a 17-year-old cowgirl from Miller, South Dakota and a member of the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association. […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Kaitlyn Sandland
story by Siri Stevens
Kaitlyn Sandland competes in barrels, poles, goats, breakaway and team roping. Her favorite event is goat tying and barrel racing. “It’s a tie between both of them – I get to ride two amazing horses. I got my barrel horse, Jed, when I was 7 as a birthday present. He’s been through everything with me.” Jed broke his foot when Kaitlyn was in eighth grade. “We have struggled with that, and then a couple years ago we learned he has a respiratory problem and bleeds through his nose.” This past year he did not feel good and didn’t want to run at all, so Kaitlyn started him on herbs from Equine Herb Connection. “It has changed my horses dramatically.” She bought her goat tying horse, Sophia, her eighth-grade year. “She was thrown into everything – including goat tying. She has come a long way from that, and now she’s my back up barrel horse, my goat tying horse, pole horse, and roping horse. She never loses her energy and has the ability to perform for us.” Kaitlyn also has a five-year-old barrel horse that she is starting along with her back-up goat horse, which is her brothers’ horse (thirteen-year-old twins Kyle and Cole).
The eighteen-year-old senior at Mount Vernon High School works at Double D Western in Huron, South Dakota, where she works as both a sales associate as well as a model. Kaitlyn also works for Cowboy Coop Creations, which is a handmade western décor company, that was started by her family. When she graduates this spring, she plans to go to MTC (Mitchell Technical College) for radiology technology. “I did a couple of medical classes in high school, and that was one of the ones that interested me. I want to give back to the community that helped me, and the medical community can help me with that.” She wants to be an x-ray technician – bones and specializing in ultrasound.
She admits she will miss her twin brothers next year, along with her parents, Nathan and Allison. “I’m going to miss having them around all the time. We sit down every night at supper, and they tell the stories from school. You never know what’s going to come out of their mouths.”
Kaitlyn has made National High School Finals the past two years in light rifle. She shoots for competition only. “My dad wanted to get us into competition, and we shot for 4-H.”
Kaitlyn is the first one in her family to rodeo. “My dad grew up in Minnesota on a wild rice farm. My mom grew up in North Dakota and would babysit for a family in Western South Dakota that ranched.” Kaitlyn started riding at the age of two and went to her first junior rodeo at the age of four. She loves competing in rodeo. “You can go to any rodeo, no matter what, and it’s like having one big family. Rodeo has made me the person I am. The responsibility and knowing that I can achieve what I set out to do is what rodeo has taught me.”