Meet the Member Kelsey Lensegrav

by Rodeo News
Meet the Member The Rodeo News

above: SDHRA member, Kelsey Lensegrav at the 2016 SDHSRA Finals – cowboyimages.net

story by Lily Weinacht

Kelsey Lensegrav is the third generation of her family to rodeo, and her drive to compete is just as strong as that of her dad and granddad before her. The 17 year old from Interior, S.D., grew up watching her dad, Ken Lensegrav, ride bareback broncs in the PRCA until 2004. Several years later, Kelsey, who had been doing local playdays, started competing in 4-H rodeo, and her love for the sport grows continually stronger by the year. “What motivates me to rodeo is the feeling when anything in a single run goes right, like your horse trying his guts out, or getting something down after a lot of practice,” says Kelsey. “Rodeo is knowing when to take your wins and losses – and practicing and finding out what you’re made of.”
Kelsey has worked tirelessly with the help of her coaches to be the caliber of cowgirl she is today. She competes in the SDHSRA in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, and goat tying, though breakaway is undoubtedly her favorite. “I didn’t start breakaway until a little later, and I did terrible!” Kelsey recalls with a laugh. “I got mad with it one day and I worked on my roping all summer long, and when the next spring came, I was catching. Nothing was more satisfying than knowing all of my hard work was paying off! That’s one of the best things about rodeo – you can actually see the results of your hard work.” She also credits her success to the help from her coaches. “My dad is such a mentally strong person when it comes to rodeo, knowing when to tell me to shake it off if it’s out of my control – and he’s not afraid to tell me when it’s my fault, and to work harder. My mom, Kim, is one of my biggest supporters and fans. She didn’t rodeo, but she’s our number one person. My older sister, Katie, has also been a strong influence.” Kelsey has been further coached by Brian Fulton and Carol Hollers in breakaway roping, Wanda Brown in barrel racing, and Kayla Nelson in goat tying.
As for the other half of her team, Kelsey competes on four horses. “My goat horse is Cowboy – he looks like a pony, which is perfect for me since I’m short,” Kelsey describes. “My rope horse is Comanche. My sister used to ride him, and I started using him at the beginning of my high school season and we’ve really clicked. Paisley is my barrel horse, and she’s also learning poles – she’s really sweet. And my old pole horse is Kid – he’s amazing when he decides to try!”
Though her horses take a break for the winter, Kelsey stays on her toes playing basketball with the Kadoka Kougars. She’s a junior this year at Kadoka High School, which is a 55 mile drive from her home on the border of the Badlands. “We have a house in town that we use during basketball season, but otherwise I drive in every day,” says Kelsey. In addition to basketball, she enjoys English and chemistry. “The rest of my time I like to be outside, or spend time with my family. You don’t realize how busy you get, especially since my sister is in college at Black Hills State University. When she’s home, we like to go shopping together.”
Kelsey started off the 2016 rodeo season by competing in the 20X Extreme Showcase, and she plans to finish her season with her first qualification to the NHSFR, which both her dad and sister have competed in. “I would like to college rodeo, and my high school goal is to make it to Nationals in any of my events,” Kelsey finishes. “I’ve been there with my sister a few times, and I love the atmosphere.”

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

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