Jake Cruzan lives in Cave Creek, Ariz., a recent transplant from Cortez, Colo. His family moved a month ago and the National High School Reserve […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
At only 18 years old, Southern Rodeo Association (SRA) member, Kristin Mulkey has made a career inside of the arena. Owning a résumé containing the Georgia Junior High School Rodeo Association (GJHSRA) state champion titles in the barrel racing, pole bending, all-around and back-to-back titles in the goat tying, Kristin recently topped her list as the 2013 SRA year-end and finals breakaway champion. “The finals are great. The rodeos are laid back, family oriented and the board and committee members are wonderful. They really seem to care about the contestants and make sure that there is good stock to compete with,” she said of the high points of the association. As a third year member leading up to the SFR-40, Kristin already had one finals qualification under her belt. She had gone in the previous year with a ninth place ranking and was rewarded for her hard work in the breakaway and barrel racing through an acceptance of the Cathy Cudd Memorial buckle.
Kristin’s talents are not handed down through family lines, instead, are the work of a decision made by a 10-year old little girl. Her start as a rodeo contestant stems back to the high peaks of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where her dad (Tim) worked as a hunting guide. “Because of dad’s work, I was raised on horses and always loved them,” said Kristin. Tim soon took Kristin to a rodeo and during the event asked her if it was something that she would like to do. “I already loved riding horses and thought it would be something great to try,” she included. Quick progression led to the expansion of events and even the work as the GJHSRA princess her eighth grade year. Upon reaching high school, Tim offered up the option to either continue on with the Georgia High School Rodeo Association or to advance to the amateur level. “I chose to go amateur and I love it. I love the people and the competition,” said Kristin.
The Calhoun, Ga., resident can now be found competing within the International Professional Rodeo Association, where she qualified for the IFR held in Oklahoma City her rookie year (2012). She has also added the Professional Cowboy Association to her agenda and will enter into the 2013 finals seated first in, both, the rookie all-around and rookie breakaway roping standings.
The Sonoraville High School senior has chosen to dedicate her extracurricular time to the sport of rodeo. “Rodeo is all I do. I have done school sports in the past, but found that rodeo is where my heart lies,” she declared. “My horses take up all of my time anyway.” Still considered a high quality student-athlete, Kristin spends her “student” time preparing for a future in nursing and is graded through her help at AGC Pediatrics for a class. But her
continuation in the sport of rodeo also weighs in on her collegiate selections, where she is hoping to get into nursing school at Dalton State College in Dalton, Ga. – only 20 miles north of her home town. “I want to stay close to my family. I really enjoy traveling with them and want to still rodeo with the SRA,” she said. Aside from all of her hard work, Kristin credits her parents. “My dad always helps me ride my horses after school and my mom [Patricia] is there for support and helps me, in other ways, every inch of the way,” she said. Of course, Kristin’s past and future rests in her 18-year old paint gelding (Auction the Farm), who she simply calls “Ranch”. “He has been an awesome horse for her and has truly helped her,” said Patricia of the horse they have owned since 2010. “He has become one of the family.”
For the upcoming season, Kristin has decided to hit the SRA trail hard and has set the SFR as her target. “I want to get the breakaway and all-around titles,” she determined.