By Lindsey Fancher Fifteen gallons of chocolate milk is what fueled Joshua (Jimmy) Love to Junior High Nationals all the way from Eaton, CO to […]
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Meet the Member: Kyra Burge
By Lily Weinacht
Gymkhanas gave Kyra Burge the foundation she needed to start competing in rodeo, and since the early days of competing in the lead line, 13-year-old Kyra Burge has taken the reins into her own hands and qualified for state finals twice since she started junior high rodeo.
Kyra’s older sister, Tiffany, was partly responsible for introducing the family to rodeo. She found a rodeo club near their home in Elizabeth, Colo. – EHS Rodeo Team – that she participated in for a time, the girls’ mom volunteering as the secretary. Kyra helped at all of the team events, and as soon as she was old enough, she joined the club as well. Not even being bucked off during her second rodeo could deter her from competing. “I really enjoy riding,” Kyra explains. “Before rodeo I didn’t do sports – I tried basketball, but that didn’t go very well – so I got into riding. Then I realized I could do barrel racing and rodeo with my horses.” She is currently competing in barrel racing and hopes to return to pole bending as soon as her horse is ready to rodeo again, while she plans to start breakaway roping next spring. “Randi Timmins was a member of our rodeo team, and she inspired me to get into barrel racing,” says Kyra. “ She won CPRA Rookie of the Year in 2013. I also look up to Kayla Humphries – she was my first rodeo coach, and she helped me gain my confidence and get comfortable with more speed.”
Kyra and her parents, Renee and David Burge, live just outside of Elizabeth. Kyra competes on a sorrel paint gelding, Doc Holliday, who will also become her roping horse. “We got him in January and I’ve been working on getting him going,” says Kyra. She also competes on a black gelding named Magnum, and she will be forever grateful to Josie, Jakayla, and Jessalyn Maher for training him. The family also has several dogs of all sizes, as well as cats, and Kyra anticipates getting a puppy this fall which she hopes will travel with the family to their rodeos.
When it comes to school, Kyra doesn’t have to go any further than her kitchen table. An eighth grader, this will be her third year homeschooling. She particularly enjoys combining her love of writing and art together, writing papers describing her artwork, which is often sketches of Native American art and horses.
As soon as she’s finished school for the day, Kyra is riding her horses or training two of her neighbor’s horses. “They’re doing well – they just don’t like stopping or turning right now,” Kyra explains. She is also taking her role as an aunt seriously and introducing her nephew, Zeke, to horses. “The horse that used to buck me off is his favorite,” she says with a laugh. “He’s doing some gymkhanas in the lead line – I think he’s definitely going to like horses.” The Burge family used part of their summer break to visit Yellowstone and watch a rodeo in Jackson, Wyo. Kyra also competed in the EHS Gymkhana Series this summer, which she and her family volunteer at, and Kyra has won several buckles through the series in the past. She never leaves for a rodeo without her special necklace, explaining, “The one time I forgot it, I had the worst weekend ever! Now I always take it with me – it has a barrel racer going around a barrel on it.”
Kyra’s goal for the new rodeo season is to qualify for state finals, and ultimately, the NJHFR. “I’d also like to train barrel and roping horses, and someday, I hope to pro rodeo!”