Meet the Member Emma Thompson
story by Lindsay Humphrey “I got a really late start in rodeo, I was 13 or 14 when I started going to jackpots and junior […]
story by Lily Weinacht
“My goal for my senior year is to try to make Nationals,” says Kamryn Smith. The 17-year-old pole bender from Palmer, Kansas, also runs barrels on occasion and recently started team roping with heeler Ashley Robinson, but weaving poles has always been her first love in rodeo. She’s currently leading the pole bending in the KHSRA. “My horse is really good at it, so it makes my job really easy and fun. When we make a really smooth, clean, fast run, people say it’s really pretty.”
Kamryn started rodeoing in sixth grade after traveling to rodeos to watch her older sister compete. She also enters HYRA rodeos and NBHA and KBRA barrel races, while her favorite place to run is the Oklahoma/Kansas Border Bash at the Lazy E Arena. “That’s a fun arena, and I usually compete in pole bending earlier in the day, and then I get to hang out with friends. I mainly go with my mom and dad, Kami and Ron Smith. My mom and sister, Kaylee, help me quite a bit when I practice and tell me where to put my hands, and my dad helps me with the team roping. My sister Karsyn is in her second year at Pratt (Community College) on a rodeo scholarship, and my brother, Kolton, just graduated from Pratt and was on the rodeo team.”
Kamryn’s mom and sister have also helped her with training her main pole horse, a 12-year-old gray pinto gelding named Zane. “We get our horses when they’re yearlings and work with them. Mom and Kaylee did a lot of training with Zane, and I took over making sure he was finished and seasoned with my sister Karsyn. I have Zane’s half sister, Royal. She’s 4 and I’ve been jackpotting her in the barrel racing and she’s coming on great. I’ve ran Zane in years past for barrels, and I head on him.” Kamryn usually ropes live cattle twice a week at her neighbor’s the Zabokrtsky’s arena, and her mom or sister runs chutes. “We also have a pet Nigerian Dwarf Goat named Willie, and two dogs,” Kamryn adds. “My nephew, Kaylor, named the goat. Kaylor is 3 and he rides my brother’s 18-year-old rope horse around. I think he’ll take to the rodeo side.”
A senior at Linn High School, Kamryn enjoys her trigonometry and government classes. “In trig, we’re learning the terms and angles, and in government, we’re working on the Articles of Confederation and the Bill of Rights. We play a lot of government trivia games and it gets pretty intense. My dad is our head girls basketball coach. We’re the Lady Bulldogs, and I like playing for him. We get to spend a lot of time together, and my mom keeps my horse in shape for me during the winter because it’s dark by the time I get home from basketball.” Kamryn is also the president of her FFA chapter, and a member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Last year, Kamryn’s FFA team was the state land champion and they went to nationals in Oklahoma City. She also works part time, and volunteers once a week at a nursing home through the Music & Memory program. “I listen to music with an elder, or sometimes we play games. My resident loves the Beach Boys, so we listen to a lot of their music,” she explains.
“My first goal is to make Nationals my senior year, and I’d like to at least place in top 15 or top 20 in team roping at state since we just started. Then I’d like to go on to a two-year college to rodeo, and I think I want to study to be an occupational therapy assistant and combine that with equine therapeutic riding.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.