story by Ruth Nicolaus Madison Richmann is president of the Colorado High School Rodeo Association. The Keenesburg, Colorado cowgirl competes in the breakaway roping, barrel […]
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Meet the Member Kallie Russell
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Kallie Russell is in her final year of competition in the Colorado High School Rodeo Association.
The eighteen-year-old cowgirl, a resident of Elizabeth, Colo., is a barrel racer.
Her mount is a ten-year-old gray mare named Maggie Mae, who the Russells got last year from Tristan Lewis. After not having a barrel horse her junior year, Kallie is pleased with the mare, although they have had some challenges to overcome.
“It’s been a little bit of a battle trying to get with her and keep her sound,” she said, “but it’s definitely worth it. We’ve made some nice runs.”
Maggie Mae is eager to please and works hard, Kallie said. “She’s super honest. She wants to go out there and work. She knows her job super well and that’s what makes her so successful.”
The two are bonding, too, as Kallie spends more time with the horse. “As I was working on keeping her sound, I’d help with therapy. She’s warmed up a lot. She’s now super friendly, loves getting messed with, and loves her food.”
A senior at Elbert High School, Kallie studies online and it suits her well. She’s been disciplined enough, mostly, to keep at it. “I found it worked with how I like to work,” she said. “I can understand deadlines and get it done. I look at my schedule and how much work I have to do, and know I’m going to do it.” She also knows if her school work isn’t completed, her mother will help jumpstart her motivation!
Through school, she is involved in FFA and is on the honor roll.
In her spare time, she loves to read and is currently re-reading the Harry Potter series for the fifth time. She notices new things every time she goes through the books again. “It’s insane, how every time I read it, there are little things and so many details I missed or forgot about.” Reading before falling asleep is one of her favorite things to do. “I get a break, it clears my head, and it keeps me from getting overwhelmed.”
The best food her mom makes is sweet potato casserole. Her favorite fruit is watermelon, and her favorite vegetable is orange bell peppers, eaten raw, or sometimes with cream cheese as a dip. She loves cookie dough ice cream, Snickers bars and Dr. Pepper, and if she was at a buffet, the first thing she’d fill her plate with would be pad thai.
The most fun she’s had on a trip was last year in Gallup, N.M., at the Best of the Best Rodeo. She and her friend Maci York had a ball eating lunch together each day and driving around in Maci’s golf cart. Even getting a sprained ankle was an adventure!
This fall, Kallie will attend college in Texas, rodeoing collegiately. She would like to work towards a degree in communications with a minor in an ag-related field. The broadness of the field appeals to her. “If I want to go more towards marketing, or management or journalism, I can do that.”
Kallie competed at state finals her freshman and junior years (there were no state finals in 2020, due to Covid).
She is the daughter of Rob and Lea Anne Russell.