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Meet the Member Karli Kyle
story by Michele Toberer
Karli Kyle is excited about the 2019/2020 Louisiana High School Rodeo Association where she will not only compete in barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping, but will also serve as the association’s vice president. The role has a special meaning to her, because her father, Kenny Kyle was once the vice president of LHSRA while he competed in the association during his own high school years. “It means a lot to me to be following in my dad’s footsteps, and I look forward to being part of the student officers and sharing ideas to help improve the association. One thing I’d like to do is introduce some new ideas to gain more corporate sponsors, and I’m excited about some things I’d like to try.”
Rodeo has been a big part of life for the Lake Charles, Louisiana high school junior. She attends Sam Houston High School, and she started competing in rodeo as an 8 year old in the Choupique Rodeo Association. Not only did her dad compete for in multiple events for many years in rodeo, still team roping; but her mom, Jodi, also competed in many events, although mostly in barrel racing. “My grandpa on my dad’s side was a rodeo announcer and competed in rodeo, and my dad’s brother also rodeoed. Rodeo goes back a long way in my family.” Currently Karli’s dad is an announcer and auctioneer, and Karli splits her time between living with him and her mom, who is an accounting manager for the Isle Capri Casino.
Karli is involved in student council at Sam Houston High School, as well as the Beta Club, and she’s a member of the Broncette Dance Line. “I’ve been dancing since kindergarten and made the Junior Broncette team in middle school. I’ve been on the Broncette high school team since I was a freshman, and really enjoy performing at football and basketball games, pep rallies, and playoffs.” After graduating, Karli will follow in more of her father’s footsteps, and plans to attend McNeese State University and be a part of the rodeo team, just like he was. Although she’s not completely certain what degree she will study for, she feels it will definitely be in the medical field, and she’d love to go into dermatology in the future.
There are many people Karli appreciates for where she is in rodeo now. She is grateful to her mom for helping her with barrel racing and her favorite event, pole bending. Karli’s mom has guided her and her 12-year-old white mare, Maggie, since they were in 8th grade, and the two have become quite a team. “There have been so many to help me in roping, Lenny Parker, Bobby Mudd, Joe DeKyser, and my dad. There are so many to thank, but especially my grandma Becky Leleux and my grandpa, Joe Leleux, who recently passed away. My grandparents hauled me everywhere, and even when my grandpa was in the hospital, they were supporting me. It was actually my grandpa’s dying wish that he wanted to buy me a barrel horse I could compete on, and that’s what we are working on looking for now. When we find the right horse, it will mean so much to ride a horse he wanted me to have.”
Karli is looking forward to the season and working with the other student officers to make it a great year for all members. “The kids in the high school rodeo association are my heroes that I look up to. They have the biggest hearts. We may be top dog competitors in the arena, but we’ll still turn around and help each other when we need it.”