Klinglesmith still deciding between rodeo and graduation

Lori Ann Klinglesmith is pictured competing in the Breakaway roping event, one of two, along with team roping, the Meeker High School senior competes in the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association. Klinglesmith has yet to decide if she will attend her graduation this Saturday or rodeo in Buffalo, Wyo., to earn more points before the state finals, in an effort to qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo in July. Jennifer Bohn photo

MEEKER | Life is full of tough decisions and Lori Ann Klinglesmith, a senior at Meeker High School, is trying to decide if she will attend her high school graduation this Saturday or pursue her passion to rodeo by traveling to Buffalo, Wyo., to compete in a rodeo Saturday, then another one in Sheridan, Wyo., Sunday and Monday, all in an effort to earn more points before the state finals, where the top four will qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo, in July.
Klinglesmith, along with Meeker sophomore Ellie Anderson, like to rodeo so much, they travel the state of Wyoming, competing in the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association (WYHSRA), both in team roping and breakaway roping events.
Anderson’s younger brother Lane also travels the Wyoming Junior High School Rodeo circuit and recently qualified for a second year, for the Junior High School National Finals Rodeo, coming up in June, in Lebanon, Tenn. The Barone Middle School eighth-grader recently became a Wyoming state champion header and a state runner up in goats, qualifying for the national finals in both events.
According to Klinglesmith, she is currently seventh in the standings and Ellie Anderson is fourth, with two rodeos before the state finals.
“I am still making decisions regarding graduation but I think I will go rodeo in place of graduation,” Klinglesmith said. “It has been a hard decision for me but I have given up a lot and worked very hard to get where I am and being on the bubble of qualifying, I would like to go to Buffalo and try to get some more points, but the decision is not final yet.”
Klinglesmith has made tough decisions before, like when she stopped playing high school sports to pursue her passion to rodeo two years ago. She plans to continue competing in her favorite sport when she starts college this fall at the University of Wyoming.
“I like to rodeo because it is a very individual sport, you have to work hard and what you put in, you get out, kinda thing,” Klinglesmith said. “I’m motivated to rodeo because I love to train horses. I really like that aspect, you have to get your horse working how you want and how your horse works is a big part of whether or not you’re successful.”
Klinglesmith trained both of her horses, Bay Buck and Boots, using Bay Buck to head for team roping partner, Ira Dickinson and Boots to breakaway.
“I have had Bay Buck since he was three and started roping on him three years ago,” Klinglesmith said. “Boots, I got a couple of years ago and trained him to be a breakaway horse. It is very rewarding to see how far my horses have come and I am proud that with the help of my dad’s coaching, to have made them what they are, rather than buying them already trained.”
Klinglesmith is thankful for the help she has received and the people she has met while pursuing her passions.
“I would like to thank Dee Norell and Travis Anderson for all their help and coaching to get me where I am,” Klinglesmith said. “I also think it is very cool how you make such good friends but your friends aren’t on your team, like they are in high school sports. You’re competing against them but you work together to make each other successful.”

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