Meet the Member Cole Steib
story by Siri Stevens Cole Steib’s first year in the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo was successful. The sixth grader made it to Nationals in the […]
stories by Lindsey Fancher
At just twelve years old, Keylee Izard from Sulphur, LA is juggling more responsibilities than just doing chores. The sixth grader attends Our Lady’s Catholic School, and is a star student, vol-leyball athlete, and rodeo athlete. To fit in everything she loves, Keylee has no wiggle room in her tightly-packed schedule. “While dad’s feeding the horses, I rush to school. When I get home, I eat a snack, rope the dummy, ride, feed the horses, eat dinner, with just enough time to study,” said Keyley. Out of everything she gets to do, Keylee is positive that rodeo practice is her favor-ite part of the day, “I would rather go rodeo than go to school.”
This is Keylee’s first year in the Louisiana Junior High School Rodeo Association, and finally being able to compete is a dream come true for her. She has grown up on horseback and has been raised on rodeo for so long, she can’t even recall her first one. Keylee’s mom, Kelly, barrel races and breakaway ropes while Keylee’s dad, Dusty, tie down ropes. Both parents are her coaches and have helped her grow into the all-around cowgirl that she is. Keylee competes in barrel rac-ing, breakaway roping, ribbon roping, and pole bending. All the help and practice she has put into her events has paid off. “My greatest accomplishment so far was when I won the all-around at my first junior high rodeo. It gave me a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season.” Keylee’s favorite part of the season hasn’t all been gold buckles. “It’s really fun seeing all my friends at the rodeos. I’m getting to know my horses better each time we go.”
The greatest challenges Keylee has had to overcome this year are getting acquainted with her newest mount and rehabbing the old. Keylee has a ten-year-old sister, Kenna, who recently got into trick riding. This freed up Kenna’s gelding, Kia, and gave Keylee the chance to make him her own in the barrel race. “This is a great learning experience,” she said, “I’m learning how to handle my horse in different situations and in different arenas.” The timing was perfect as her barrel horse, Roxy, came up sore and needed surgery for a tendon tear. Keylee and her mom are both hard at work getting Roxy back into the arena. For her roping events, Keylee rides her mom’s old calf horse, Valentine. “She’s a lot of horse,” she said. “She is all business. She has a huge personality and thinks that she’s the queen!”
The Izard family live on a cattle ranch ‘way out in the boonies’, as Keylee describes it, and raises crossbred cattle. Keylee would prefer rodeoing any day over cowboying. Hauling to Keylee’s rodeos is a family ordeal that Kelly and Dusty enjoy. Kelly works as an assistant principal at W. W. Lewis Middle School and Dusty works as a farrier. When Keylee is not in the arena or taking the long haul to her next destination, she enjoys playing volleyball. This past year was her first competing after trying out on a whim. Keylee can see volleyball as something she’ll pursue along-side rodeo. Recently, Keylee was elected as secretary for Beta Club, a school activity that pro-motes academic achievement, good character, leadership and service through community projects such as food drives and charity. Keylee’s 4.0 GPA also got her selected for her school’s Banner Role. Her love for rodeo and animals has led Keylee to aspire to be a veterinarian and a Pro Ro-deo athlete one day.
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