Meet the Member Kaylee Gallino

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Kaylee Gallino’s rookie year in the M-SRA concluded with a qualification to the finals and fifth place in the year-end standings. The 26 year old won all three barrel racing rounds in the average astride Spanky, one of her three barrel horses. “I’ve gone to SDRA and NRCA rodeos a long time, but I knew I’d hit a lot of Nebraska and South Dakota rodeos seasoning a young horse, so I bought my M-SRA card,” says Kaylee, who hails from Wasta, South Dakota. “I really enjoy the association – most of their rodeos have a lot bigger crowds – and they put on a great finals last year. It was really fun! It was cool to be a part of it, and I liked the way they recognized their contestants.”
Kaylee’s experience with horses and rodeo came before she was old enough to break in her first pair of boots. Her dad rode broncs, steer wrestled, and tie-down and team roped while she was growing up, and continues to rope today. Following Little Britches and 4-H rodeo, Kaylee competed in high school. She rodeoed for Chadron State College in barrel racing and breakaway roping, and majored in math education. The women’s team qualified for the CNFR in 2012, the same year Kaylee filled her WPRA permit. From 2013 – 2015, she qualified for the Badlands Circuit Finals in barrels.
“My favorite part of barrels is the accomplishment of winning on something you’ve trained yourself,” says Kaylee. “When I was young, I rode a lot with Jackie Whitcher, and she set the foundation for my training program. My parents have been supportive, and my dad is probably my biggest fan. He’s taught me how to enter and get from one rodeo to the next, and he and my mom come to some of my rodeos.”
Kaylee’s horses are also part of the family. She started Bob, now her main horse, during college rodeo, and he’s been her number one since. Her backup horses are a pair of 10-year-olds, Spanky, and Buckwheat, whom she qualified on for the M-SRA finals. “I’ve been training and finishing him as well. We have an arena, but if it’s too cold, I go to a barn east of us, close to Quinn.” Kaylee often hauls with friends during the winter, and never leaves without her blue heeler/border collie mix, Chilli. Several of their most recent stops included Odessa, Texas, along with the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
When she’s not rodeoing, Kaylee helps her mom run the family’s convenience store in Wall, South Dakota. “I’ll help with the bookwork and wherever else I’m needed. My family is big on playing cards like Pitch and Cribbage, and I also braid a lot of halters, lead ropes, and headstalls out of old team roping ropes. I sell a few if I have them on hand.”
Kaylee plans to compete in the M-SRA again this year, while also pursuing another qualification to the Badlands Circuit Finals. “I’d like to win enough to get into some of those limited rodeos in the spring and see where it goes. I’ve never been out West, so in the fall, I’d really like to go out there – the one rodeo I want to enter is Pendleton. It looks really fun,” she explains. “The ultimate goal for any young girl is making the WNFR, and I’m trying to do that. Bob isn’t the type of horse that runs all year and is competitive – he likes his breaks. I’ve known I wouldn’t go super hard until I had two horses I believed could win, and now I can think about going hard.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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