Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member McKinlee Kellett
story by Riata Cummings
Hailing from Plain City, Utah, McKinlee Kellett is a dedicated and talented rodeo athlete. The 17-year-old attends Fremont High School where her favorite class is English. After high school she would like to attend college and compete in college rodeo while studying to become a dental hygienist. One day she would like to run barrels at the NFR and be a futurity barrel racer. Kinlee has two younger sisters, Kaycee and Kolbee, who plan to follow in her footsteps and compete in rodeo. Her dad, Wes Kellett, is a team roper and farrier whose influence, coupled with that of her step-mom and past Miss Rodeo Utah Angi Kellett, makes for some pretty strong ties to the sport. Although Kinlee grew up dancing with her mother, Joni Avila, she now devotes all her time to her horses and sport of choice, rodeo.
The barrel racer and pole bender now has quite the list of accomplishments, including finishing 10th in the world at last years National High School Finals Rodeo in the barrel racing. At the state finals a couple months prior, McKinlee recovered from a bad first round – with the encouragement of family friend Kyle McEntire – to finish 4th in the state. Kinlee recently competed in the Intermountain Icebreaker, having to run her futurity colt in the short-go after her good horse was injured. Placing her trust in the colt and herself was challenging but the colt had a good run that would’ve placed them third in the round if it wasn’t for a downed barrel. Rodeo experiences like that have taught Kinlee that winning isn’t always about winning, sometimes it’s about overcoming the odds, beating yourself, gaining consistency, and seeing progress. McKinlee would like to use the rest of this year to season some futurity horses and earn her ticket back to nationals.
The extremely competitive nature has given Kinlee the opportunity to compete against some of the worlds best barrel racers and pole benders. Training her own horses has been a challenge but seeing them compete with the best is rewarding. Knowing that every rodeo has high stakes has pushed McKinlee to always ask for more from herself and her horses, striving to be better with every run. She lives by the saying, “do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do,” and the quote motivates her to work towards her goal of one day becoming a world champion barrel racer.
Kinlee’s main barrel horse, Kirby, has been around since her freshman year, and the bay gelding has carried her to many victories. She also has a few futurity colts including Steve, Kooter, and Seven. Kinlee always uses white splint boots, front and back, on her horses and the superstition has become her trademark. Unlike many of her fellow competitors, McKinlee will drop anything at anytime to take care of her horses.
McKinlee would like to thank her parents and family for supporting her through the ups and downs of rodeo and for giving her the means to compete. She would like to thank Kyle McEntire for his help breaking into the futurity world and for his constant support. Finally, she would like to thank her sponsors, Total Racer, Simply Eden Equine, and Prevedel Saddlery for their assistance.