Very few cowboys are able to achieve their rodeo dreams and build a business at the same time. To be successful at either requires significant […]
Haylee Naylor is a contestant in the Kansas Junior High Rodeo Association. The thirteen year old cowgirl competes in the pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, and is a runner for Cade Pearson in the ribbon roping.
Of all her events, pole bending is her favorite, in part because of her horse, Lacy. “We just seem to be in sync, and we get along really good,” Haylee says. Lacy, who is a 24 year old sorrel, is also her goat tying horse and was ridden by Haylee’s aunt in high school and college rodeo. Because of her age, Haylee will probably retire her after this year of rodeo. Lacy is very calm, and even follows Haylee without a lead rope.
For the barrel racing, she rides a sixteen year old horse named Demmy who is new to the family. Both of her horses are spoiled; Haylee loves spending money on them and makes sure their tack is color-coordinated (pink zebra). They have rhinestone headstalls, pink boots, pink blankets, and zebra fly masks. “They’re pretty girlie.”
Haylee is an eighth grade student at Olpe Junior High School, and she loves sports and hanging out with her friends. The best part of the school day is the practices at the end of the day, and the worst part is math class. Her favorite teacher is Mr. Robert, her science teacher.
She is a cheerleader and plays volleyball and basketball. This year her volleyball team went undefeated. She also participates in 4-H, where she showed two steers (named Willie and Si), and pigs, which she chooses not to name because she doesn’t want to get too attached to them. Her theme for this year’s fair was Duck Dynasty: her show box and name tags were all camouflage, and her friend’s steers, who were next door to hers, were named Jase and Jep. Willie won Haylee some premium money, and Si became the family’s beef for the freezer.
Haylee also competes in local Show-deos in Olpe and in the winter series for the Heartland Youth Rodeo Association. Over her rodeo career, she’s won money and 26 buckles. All of her earnings go into savings or to her mom, “so my mom doesn’t have to pay for so much.” When she grows up, she’d like to be a sonogram technician and work in the medical field, like her mom.
She has a younger brother, Logan, who is six years old. Haylee is teaching him how to ride, and is proud that he has already won money and buckles. She is the daughter of Cassie Naylor, and credits her mom’s boyfriend, Rope Hammond, with helping her out.