Meet the Member Kiara Elegante

by Rodeo News

story by Jaicee Williams

Kiara Elegante is a fiery barrel racer from Bluffdale, Utah, who has been a part of the rodeo world since she was 5 years old. Kiara is currently working on her rookie year in the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association (RMPRA) and kicked it off with wins in the barrel racing at the second and third rodeos at Ogden, Utah, at the beginning of the year.
Kiara’s family has always been involved in rodeo, so it was natural for her to follow suit. It was Kiara’s mom, Brandy, who got her started in the barrel racing. “I remember my first time I ran at a rodeo. I was on our old rope horse and ran at a little jackpot in Bluffdale…it was a good time,” said Kiara.
Growing up, Kiara and her younger siblings, Dylan, Ace, and Kambree, participated in a riding club in Bluffdale. Kiara competed in regular events such as barrel racing and pole bending, but she also had the opportunity to do unusual events like keyhole, flag race, stake race, and speed barrels. These events were created to give kids a chance to have fun with something new while also improving their horsemanship.
Once Kiara got to high school, she competed in team roping, breakaway roping, pole bending, barrel racing, and the queen competition. Out of all these events, she decided that barrel racing was her calling and decided to stick with it through the RMPRA. “I’ve always loved it because I love to go fast.”
Kiara is a recent graduate from Mountain Ridge High School and plans to attend Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, this coming fall to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism to help her become a news anchor. Kiara found her love for broadcast journalism through one of her high school teachers, Leslie Vawdrey. Kiara was pushed by Mrs. Vawdrey to participate in TV broadcasting for her high school. Through Kiara’s broadcasting experience, she earned career and technical education (CTE) recognition within her school district. To earn this achievement, Kiara created videos, such as public service announcements and the senior graduation video, and anchored her school’s television station. “Broadcasting was something that I really put my heart and soul into the last two years; so, I was really excited when I received this recognition.”
When Kiara isn’t running barrels or creating videos, she can be found teaching riding lessons, nannying, or teaching third graders at Summit Academy in Bluffdale. Kiara hosts her riding lessons in her own backyard where she says, “friends and family are always welcome.” Kiara is especially excited to be a para instructor to the third graders where she plans to teach the advanced kids in English and math during the 2021-2022 school year.
Kiara started her involvement with the RMPRA in seventh grade when she entered her hometown rodeo, the Bluffdale Old West Days, with a permit. However, this is Kiara’s first year being an actual member of the association. She loves being a part of the association because of the amount of competition. “The girls that we compete against are as tough as the girls at the top of the PRCA. So, when we compete in the RMPRA, we’re competing against the best of the best, which pushes you to get better.”
In tow to every rodeo, Kiara brings her main horse, a spunky mare named Sweet Pea, and her backup, a calm gelding named Olaf. Sweet Pea and Kiara are the perfect pair as she explains, “if Sweet Pea were a person, she’d be just like me.” Sweet Pea helped Kiara achieve her wins in Ogden and Kiara is hoping to continue the trend throughout the remainder of the year.
When rodeoing, Kiara tries to keep one quote at the top of her mind: “Winners win and winners lose, too.” She elaborates that rodeo is full of ups and downs. “This quote helped me realize that I can be a winner, even when I’m not at the top of the leaderboard. Where I place in rodeo doesn’t define me as a person.”

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

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