La Grande's Kennon rides to New Mexico for Nationals
By Casey Kellas
At just 12 years old, Kayla Kennon is already making a name for herself in the world of rodeo.
Kennon, a home-schooled sixth grader in La Grande, will compete at the eighth annual National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, N.M., starting Sunday.
Kennon will compete in barrel racing as part of Team Oregon and will be
Kennon is currently the top-ranked barrel racer in the state at the junior high level.
She qualified for the NJHFR by earning points through a number of junior high rodeos this spring.
It should come as no
Her older sister, Marlee, is a professional barrel racer in Arizona and has competed at events on the Harley Tucker Rodeo Series as well.
The younger Kennon is using her big sister’s horse, Call Me Coyote, or Cody for short.
Cody is a 16-year-old quarter horse.
“He’s retired from professional rodeo, but he’s still great for her level,” Kayla’s dad, Bob, said of Cody.
The National Junior High Finals is the world’s largest junior high rodeo.
It features more than 1,000 contestants from 47 states, Canadian provinces and Australia.
In addition to competing for more than $75,000 in prizes, NJHFR contestants will also be vying for more than $100,000 in college
To earn this title,
To follow the action, visit the National High School Rodeo Association’s website (www.nhsra.org) for results.
Live broadcasts will be shown on the ihigh website at www.ihigh.com/nhsra.
The first performance of the NJHFR is Sunday at