BULLS, BLOOD, DUST, & MUD: Inside the world of KHS high school rodeo

ISABEL VALADEZ, Staff writer

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As 15-year-old Lane Mckenzie rides his horse up to the arena, he says a quick prayer. The arena is packed with family and friends yelling his name and cheering. He feels his heart racing inside. He and his partner wait for the gate to open. They chase a steer, ready to rope it – all in only a few seconds. Mckenzie has competed in the sport of rodeo for the last seven years, and loves the sport.

For some KHS students, fall means rodeo season – the Lone Star High School Rodeo. This program gives teenagers the opportunity to rope and participate in activities with their age group, such as bareback, saddle bronc, ranch bronc, steer riding, bull riding,  poles, goat tying with horse, team roping and many more.

Mckenzie, a sophomore, practices on his own time for three hours every week.

“My favorite event personally would be team roping because it’s really competitive, and it’s a timed event,”  Mckenzie said.

Murrah practices her roping skills.

Murrah practices her roping skills.

Team roping is also known as heading or heeling. The event includes a steer and two ropers. The front roper is known as the “header” and the second is called the “heeler.” This event is the only rodeo event where men and women compete equally.

Along with Mckenzie, sophomore Harlee Murrah, 15, also participates in this association. They both have received many cash winnings and belt buckles. Not only did Murrah participate in goat tying, breakaway, and flags. She was also the Junior Rodeo Queen.

“There was a lot of hairspray and makeup, let me just tell you that,” said Murrah. “Being rodeo queen definitely carried a lot of responsibility.”

Some of the events Murrah was involved in were carrying the Texas flag at the beginning of every rodeo and signing pictures at various events. She has also received money and buckles for prizes for her participation in events.

KHS alumni Hanson Murrah also participated in LSHSRA. Murrah mainly competed in tie down and team roping. In tie down, a competitor must ride on a horse then dismount and tie up a goat. He now ropes in another rodeo association and just graduated from Desoto Fire Training Center to become an EMT. He enjoys rodeo as a part of his life.

Murrah said: “Rodeo definitely teaches good life lessons and skills.”

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BULLS, BLOOD, DUST, & MUD: Inside the world of KHS high school rodeo