story by Siri Stevens Addison Gautreaux lives on a 4th generation farm outside Opelousas, Louis., where she is surrounded by cattle and horses, but once […]
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Meet the Member Kenzie King
Story by Carrie Hollingsworth
Kenzie King is the thirteen-year-old, eighth grader from Iowa, Louisiana. The sport of rodeo runs deep in the King family and Kenzie began riding horses at the age of two. Kenzie’s mom, Shelly, was a barrel racer. Her dad, Don, was a saddle bronc rider, and her brother, Kyle roped calves and team roped. Kenzie’s parents, Granny, Kyle and Emma Comeaux, are just a few of her biggest supporters at every rodeo.
Kenzie competes in barrel racing, pole bending, and ribbon roping. Her favorite event is barrel racing. 2pads is the quarter horse that makes her job as a barrel racer just a little bit easier. Kenzie has owned 2pads since he was five years old. She enjoys riding him because he is tall and has a long stride. Kenzie says, “It depends on what day it is but he is usually pretty easy going, but he also has a feisty spark.” Her goal is to win a state championship in barrel racing and also become a pro barrel racer one day. It’s obvious that barrel racing holds a special place in Kenzie’s heart, so its only right that her idol is back-to-back, two-time PRCA world champion barrel racer, Hailey Kinzel. She says she looks up to Hailey because of her “Hard work ethic and will to win.”
Kenzie has been a part of the Louisiana junior high rodeo association for the last two years. This past summer Kenzie and her ribbon roping partner, Huel Willis, made quite the name for themselves when they were crowned the 2019-2020 LJHSRA state champion ribbon ropers. She says she loves being a member of the LJHSRA because, “You can have fun with your friends while getting to rodeo.” Although, rodeo takes up most Kenzie’s time, she enjoys watching tik toks and playing with her animals. She has eight horses, six dogs, a lot of barn cats, two birds, and one duck. Her favorite is the duck because it is “unique and really cool.”
It may seem like this cowgirl is living out her rodeo dreams at such a young age, but 2020 decided to throw another curve ball at Louisiana. Kenzie only got to go to school at Victory Baptist for one week before Hurricane Laura made landfall. In preparation for Hurricane Laura, the King family evacuated horses to safer grounds. Rodeo friends, Chance and Beth Weeks, from Ketchie, Louisiana opened up their home to four of Kenzie’s horses. Two horses were moved to Ragley, Louisiana, and one horse is in Iowa, Louisiana at the Harper’s. The King family can’t thank them enough for helping keep their animals safe. Kenzie’s family evacuated, as well. She said her Dad stayed behind to ride out the storm. At about 10 pm, he changed his mind and decided the best and safest thing to do was to get out of Iowa. Like many people in Southwest Louisiana, the King family completely lost their home, the roof that was once on their barn wasn’t there anymore, and debris was everywhere. Kenzie and her family are staying positive and faithful throughout this hard time.
Kenzie went to K-Vons and handed out water, and other supplies to the community. Everyone is hurting in Louisiana, yet everyone is lending a helping hand. Kenzie says she is using Hurricane Laura as an opportunity to, “move onto bigger and better things.”