story by Claire Vincent Millie Frey is the 18 year old daughter of Winston and Cindy Frey from Mowata, Louisiana. She is a senior at […]
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Meet the Member Kylie Conner
story by Michele Toberer
As the Louisiana state champion breakaway roper, reserve champion barrel racer, and reserve champion all-around cowgirl, Kylie Conner rolled into Guthrie, Oklahoma with an all-around title on her mind. She had been to national finals every year since 6th grade and knew that if she stayed focused it was a possible achievement to add to her lengthy list of accomplishments. After a tough week of competition, with some help from her 12-year-old palomino gelding, Fancy, and her 8-year-old sorrel roan gelding, Mouse, the rising senior rolled out from the national competition at the Lazy E Arena as the reigning 2020 NHSRA World Champion All-Around Cowgirl. “After the second round I knew I had a real chance but wasn’t sure exactly where I was sitting. I knew I needed to do well in the short round, but I tried not to think about it and just kept my head down and did my job. I knew how I ended up would be how I ended up. It wasn’t until the very end of all the average awards that they announced the all-around awards, so it was hard waiting through all that to know. It was so exciting to win the beautiful saddle from Slone Saddlery, the Gist All-Around Champion Cowgirl buckle, $10,000 in scholarships, and a whole list of other awards!”
As a true all-around cowgirl, up until the middle of this past rodeo season, Kylie still competed in most every event available to her: barrels, poles, breakaway, and goat tying. But halfway through her junior year she decided to focus on just barrel racing and breakaway roping because of the demanding schedule trying to keep up with practicing and preparing for multiple events. She is grateful to have accomplished the all-around title with just two events.
Rodeo has been a way of life for Kylie and her family. Her dad, Kyle rode bulls in LHSRA, and her mom, Andree, was an all-around cowgirl in the association as well. Andree and Kyle now own and operate JWD Directional, a horizontal drilling company. Kylie’s older sister, Allie also rodeoed with LHSRA until her senior year when she focused on basketball; she is now playing college basketball for Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana.
Kylie and Fancy put down three very consistent runs in barrel racing at the national finals; with a 15.6 in the first round, a 15.4 in the second round, and a 15.5 in the short round. She’s ridden the gelding for 6 years, since her friend and coach, Talmadge Green helped her find him. “Fancy hadn’t been to any rodeos when I got him, so Talmadge helped me with that and has helped me get him to where he is today. I appreciate his help so much. Fancy did a good job and liked that arena, I just had to keep him calm so he wouldn’t wash out.”
Although they live 15 minutes down the road and she and his daughter, Josie Conner, are often found together, most assume she and Jade Conner are related since they have the same last name; however, they are just friends. Jade has helped her since she was in 6th grade with her roping skills and Kylie felt Jade and his wife, Wendi, were just as excited for her as her parents when she had such success in breakaway roping at nationals. “I was a 2.7 second run, which was 11th in the 1st round, 2.5 seconds which put me in the top 20 in the 2nd round, and 2.3 seconds to place 2nd in the short round.” Kylie finished the national finals rodeo as the 3rd place in the world breakaway roper. Her best friend, Josie Conner, finished as the 2020 reserve world champion breakaway roper. Louisiana fans roared in the Lazy E Arena Thursday night, as their girls commanded the top 3 positions, with Josie a 1.88, Kylie a 2.30, and Hooter Murphy a 2.33 holding the three fastest times in the short round.
Kylie looks forward to her final season with LHSRA; and after graduating from her homeschool program will attend McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana next year. She plans to study to obtain the knowledge needed to become a pharmaceutical sales representative in the veterinary field.