Meet the Member Keyton Wright
story by Siri Stevens Keyton Wright, from Nephi, Utah, took a quick trip (18 hours) to the Fort Worth Stockyards to show in the National […]
story by Jennie Lawrence
At 14-years old, Genola, Utah cowgirl Maklee Larsen is a young member of the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association. Despite her age, she holds her own in the competitive arena. She finished in fourth place last year in barrels, and is currently sitting third in barrels in the RMPRA, as of August 16th. Maklee does not get nervous competing against the adults. “I just treat it like another rodeo!” she said.
In addition to barrel racing, she also competes in breakaway roping in the association. Barrel racing is her favorite event, because it is the fastest event.
Maklee has grown up in Genola, a small town in the Provo and Orem, Utah area. She is the daughter of Misti and Glenn Larsen. She has a sister Shaylee, who is ten years older. Rodeo has definitely forged a strong father-daughter bond between Maklee and Glenn. Maklee and her dad are the only ones who rodeo in her family, and Maklee started rodeoing because of her father. She got her start in the arena at the young age of four-years-old. Glenn is a team roper.
Her father is her biggest supporter. He is Maklee’s coach, and hauls her to all of her rodeos. Her dad is also her biggest hero. She is proud of all the hard work he has put into rodeo, and all the success he has enjoyed. Maklee does not have a ranch background, but they do have an arena at their house.
Maklee runs barrels on a 14-year-old sorrel quarter horse mare. The mare, named Reba, was a finished barrel horse when Maklee and her dad bought her. Maklee enjoys riding Reba because the mare really enjoys her job. Her breakaway horse is a nine-year-old grey quarter horse gelding named Willie. She and her father trained Willie as a rope horse. The horses are named after the singers Reba McIntyre and Willie Nelson, both of whom Maklee likes.
Maklee is starting high school rodeo. She runs barrels and does pole bending, ties goats, and participates in both breakaway and team roping. She is a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
When Maklee is not rodeoing, she enjoys boating. Water skiing and wake boarding are favorite sports. She is a freshman, and homeschools. She likes homeschooling because it gives her the flexibility she needs to rodeo. Math is her favorite subject, just because she understands it the best.
Her current goals include winning the All-Around Cowgirl title in high school rodeo, and winning the barrel racing championship in the RMPRA. Maklee knows she will have to work hard and stay focused to achieve her goals.
She has definite plans to go to college, but has not decided where that will be. She still has a few years to think about that choice. Maklee wants to be a Physical Therapist when she grows up. Her career goal is to become part of the Justin Sports Medicine Team, the mobile sports medicine system that travels to rodeos to support rodeo athletes where they compete.
Next to horses, her dog is her favorite pet. Tilly is a three-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd.
Maklee’s favorite quote is, “Never give up!” That is a sentiment that will serve her well in the future as she strives to meet her goals.
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