Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member Kelli Johnson
story by Riata Cummings
Kelli Johnson is a senior from Fredonia, Arizona, a small town on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. She is the daughter of Carrie and Shane Johnson and has a younger brother, Britt. Kelli has grown up on a ranch and her father trains horses for a living. Kelli attends Fredonia High School and her favorite classes are welding and animal systems. She is a member of her school’s chapter of the National FFA Organization.
Kelli has been riding horses since she was three-years-old. Although her family did a little bit of rodeoing locally, it was Kelli and her cousin Sadee that decided to take it to the next level. Today, Kelli competes in the breakaway roping and barrel racing, the latter being her favorite. Kelli’s main mount is Pepper, and the two have been together since her 8th grade year. Unfortunately, the all-around horse has been injured a couple of times during competition and has had to take time off to heal. Starting over on a new horse after Pepper was injured was one of the most difficult things she has experienced, and she learned not to take a horse’s talent for granted. Kelli also has three young horses that she works with, riding around three hours a day, every day.
So far Kelli’s favorite rodeo was the Delta high school show last spring where she laid down one of her best runs and placed well. One of her favorite things about rodeo is that it gives her an opportunity to travel and compete at so many different facilities. Rodeo has taught Kelli, “responsibility and patience.” She loves that high school rodeo has given her the experience necessary to see where improvements can be made and to recognize progress. Kelli has qualified for the state finals the last three years and this year she hopes to make it to the short-go at state finals and possibly qualify National High School Finals Rodeo.
Kelli lives by the saying, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” She knows that, more often than not, success does not come on the first try, and improvement stems from setbacks. Rodeo has helped her develop determination and desire to succeed. She would like to leave a legacy of “someone who didn’t give up,” always sticking to her guns. Her hero is her dad, whose talent with horses inspires her to be a better horsewoman. Kelli would like to thank her parents for their support of her rodeo dreams and her cousin Sadee for taking the next step and hitting the rodeo road with her.