Meet the Member Kaylee Hargis

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay King

“All I remember is my horse flipping end to end, I could not move and I could not get out from under him,” said 13-year-old Kaylee Hargis of an accident the first day of last summer. The Aztec, New Mexico, cowgirl was helping bring “bounty-steers” back in the team roping pen with Salty, her dad and Calvin, her brother, when one stopped and her horse did not, resulting in her broken leg. “Of course I got on my horse with that big cast on! It was the last two weeks of summer that I could finally ride again without a cast.” Swinging back up was not just difficult physically but mentally as well. “I was scared to get back in the saddle even though I knew my horse would not hurt me. I felt accomplished that I got right back on and roping again. Everyone told me not to but I am determined to go pro one day and I am not going to let a little accident stop me.”
The 2017 New Mexico State Pole Bending Champion likes to go by her middle name, Shianne. Her first horse was a partially blind, 24-year-old Appaloosa mare she ran barrels and poles on for her first year of rodeo. “My mom picked me up from school one day and surprised me with a 20-year-old sorrel gelding I had fallen in love with at a barrel race. I roped and tied goats on him for about three years.” A mare from a friend gave her the opportunity to set her sights high in her favorite event, poles. “My goal was to win state in poles on her before I had to give her back, it took us four years but I was determined. Poles was our thing and we worked hard at it. I lost my hat in the alley and hit poles all year, I was not consistent at all but we had a good state finals and ended up winning.” Pole benders share an understanding of the thrill of the event, agility and control of the horse necessary to be great at it, and that is why Kaylee loves it.
The Hargis-Cox family recently moved to Snyder, Texas. “There are definitely more rodeo opportunities here and that is what I am looking forward to.” She has not yet decided if she will rodeo her eighth grade year in New Mexico or Texas. “Everyone in the NMJHSRA was kind and helpful. When I won the state title I qualified for nationals but I could not financially afford to go. The board came together to help get me a ride there and the finances to go.” Though Kaylee did not take the generous offer, the gesture meant the world to her. “I felt like I could not accept that generous of a gift. I am saving everything I win this year so if I do qualify again, I can afford to go.” New competition and meeting new people is appealing for Texas junior high rodeo but something about NMJHSRA tugs at her to continue in her home state.
Kaylee has never spent more $2,500 on a horse and she plans to keep it that way in the future. “I like to get horses that do not know much and make something from them. I feel more accomplished when I win off a horse that was not finished when I got it.” She aspires to start training and selling rodeo horses in the near future and continue to step-up her rodeo game every year. Along with going pro eventually, Kaylee plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Determined in everything she pursues; Kaylee is setting her sights for nationals next year on a barrel horse she plans to turn into a pole bender. “Everything that gets me down just pushes me to work harder and to train harder. My brother and Elise Brown, my best friend, inspire me to be my best at everything I do. They encourage me and are the shoulders to cry on at the end of a tough rodeo. They are there through it all. I have my parents and God by my side.”

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

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