story by Lindsay Humphrey As a first-generation rodeo athlete, Abree Ensey and her 16-year-old sister, Paige, are figuring things out as they go along. They […]
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Meet the Member Kyra Voss
story by Lily Weinacht
Kyra Voss from Concordia, Kan., has been entering rodeos since she was eight. Today, the 13-year-old is competing in the KJHSRA in the barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, team roping, team penning, and team sorting. Kyra finds the barrel racing the most competitive and thrilling. “I like being with the horses and the people in rodeo,” Kyra explains. “It’s an environment I’ve grown up in – my dad team ropes and he used to ride bulls. I think that even if my dad didn’t compete in rodeo, I would end up doing it anyway!” Kyra and her dad, Eric Voss, team rope together at home and enter several rodeos together, with Kyra heeling. They spend many hours in the practice pen, and Kyra says, “I look up to my dad. He helps me a lot, and he’s always been there for me.”
While competing in the KJHSRA, Kyra also rides in the Northern Central Kansas Saddle Club’s drill team, which performs at several rodeos and rides in several parades during the summer. She additionally helps with events such as team roping and team sorting hosted by the NCK Saddle Club. Kyra tops off her busy summer with 4-H, competing in the speed events as well as showmanship, western pleasure, and trail. In 2012 Kyra won first place in the Jefferson County Fair in Nebraska in team sorting, earning a breast collar that was made by Twisted Tack. It is one of her favorite things to show off. In 2014, Kyra won all of the speed events at her county fair and placed first in trail. She also won second in 3D side pot in barrels at the KJHSRA Concordia rodeo in 2014, which is her favorite rodeo in her own hometown.
Kyra, her dad and step-mom, Shaunna Voss, and Kyra’s seven brothers and sisters make their home near Concordia. Kyra has four brothers, Chase, Wyatt, Jake, and Jessie, and three sisters, Leah, Kayla, and Carly. All of her siblings compete in rodeo or ride, and Kyra enjoys helping them practice, although she does like having the arena to herself every once in a while. The Voss family has the usual dogs and cats, as well as team roping steers and five horses, two of which belong to Kyra. “I do barrels and poles on Silver. We have the same personality – he’s very energetic – and he’s fast and always up for competing.” Kyra’s other horse, Dangus, is in high demand, as he is her team roping, goat tying, team sorting, and team penning horse. She also has a dog, Penny, that her family rescued.
Kyra leaves her horses only long enough to go to Concordia Junior/Senior High School, where she is in eighth grade. Her favorite class is Ag. since it focuses on animals and farming. Kyra also enjoys playing volleyball on her school’s team, the Concordia Panthers, but chooses to devote the bulk of her time to rodeo. In 2014, Kyra attended North Fork Rodeo Camp in Oakley, Kan., for the first time, where she was coached by Kristy Eberle in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, and team roping. Kyra is excitedly awaiting June, when she will be returning to the camp.
As rodeo season comes into full swing, Kyra is working steadily on her goals. “I want to go to state finals, and then I’d like to qualify for the NJHFR,” she says. “My long term goals are to go to college and rodeo, and either become a horse trainer or a vet tech. After that, I want to keep rodeoing, and someday make it to the NFR!”