On the Trail with Kaytlyn Miller

by Siri Stevens

Kaytlyn Miller has been in National Little Britches Rodeo Association “NLBRA” since she was 7, when she won her first world title in the goat tail pull. That record held as the world record until last year. “I have been roping since I could remember,” said the 15-year-old freshman from Dammeron Valley, Utah. “When I was young, I’d ride anything – strap me on and I’d go for it – sheep, calves, roping steers.” Her ranch upbringing and her love of horses gained her the All Around Title at the National High School Finals Rodeo, as well as the Rookie All Around Title. She is the 2015 NHSFR Breakaway Champion and she just captured the World All Around Champion as well as Goat Tying World Champion at the 2015 NLBFR.

A tomboy at heart, Kaytlyn, known as Kayt, grew up on a ranch on the Arizona strip in Utah. “We pushed cows all the time and I wanted to  rodeo competitively. We set barrels up in our back yard like we were going to the NFR,” she said. Roping is her favorite, doesn’t matter what event. “I love having a rope in my hand and to be able to compete with one is awesome.”

She has three younger brothers, 8-year-old Mitchell, and 4-year-old twin brothers Wyatt and Weston, and an older brother, CJ, 19, who is on a mission trip in Boston. Kayt has always been competitive with CJ. “We would bet on everything from roping the dummy to who could be the fastest at taking their boots off or even eating dinner. Whoever lost had to do ten pushups.” As they began winning, they included who could win the most buckles to the list. CJ is the first Miller to serve a mission.

The family is making a major move to a ranch in central Nevada, and Kat will be homeschooled beginning this fall. “It’s right in the middle of nowhere and ten minutes further,” said Heath, her dad, who has been commuting from the ranch to Utah each week for the past three years. The ranch is 86 miles long and 15 miles wide; 600,000 acres, running 1,400 mother cows. They also have roping steers they raise to sell to producers.

The nearest school is 40 miles away and Kayt does not want to take time away from practice to make the daily trip to school. “I wouldn’t get the things done I need to get done,” said the high honor roll student, who enjoys studying government and geography. “I like to learn about other places and the troubles they have.” Her help will be needed at the ranch as well, as the ranch is run by her family and her grandpa. “There are five of us that ride.”  She will still travel to Utah to rodeo. “They rodeo on Sunday in Nevada, and we don’t do that. And I want to compete with the people that I’ve started with.”
Heath tries to keep her grounded. “She has to put the time in,” he said. “There’s only one thing that matters and that’s the next one. That’s helped her along the way. She doesn’t get hung up on a bad run. She’s in seven events and that’s the best thing I could have taught her.”

 

Full story available in our August 15, 2015 issue.

 

Kaytlyn uses a bra as a blinder for her horse during the NHSFR - JenningsRodeoPhotography.com
Competing in Trail Course at NLBFR - JenningsRodeoPhotography.com
Kaytlyn with dad, mom, and siblings with her awards from NLBFR - JenningsRodeoPhotography.com

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