4 from Orleans competing in NYS high school rodeo
Four girls from Orleans County are competing in the rodeo. They race with their horse, weaving through barrels and poles. They also doing roping and have to scamper off the horse in a goat-tying event.
“It’s a passion,” said Amanda Kroening, 15, of Medina. “It’s so worth it.”
This is the first year the four from Orleans County are in the New York State High School Rodeo Association. They are competing this weekend in the Adirondacks at Lake Luzerne. This is the third rodeo of four this fall, with four more planned in the spring.
They accumulate points throughout the season to determine placement for the year.
The group from Orleans County includes Emma Klaver, 17, of Barre in the senior division; Olivia Kroening, 15, of Medina in senior division; Maci Manicki, 10, of Albion in future stars; and Harlow Ashton, 9, of Holley in future stars.
They heard about the rodeo from Madison Bale of Medina, who graduated last June. She was in the 4-H horse program with some of the girls now in the rodeo program.
Emma Klaver, a senior at Albion, rides a horse named “Looker” in barrel racing. She is sponsored by Gillette Farms, Spirit Acres, Domoy Farms and Hu-Lane Farms.
Olivia Kroening, a sophomore at Medina, rides “Bandit” and competes in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying. She is sponsored by Marks Pizzeria, Baker Farms and Bentley Brothers.
Maci Manicki, a fifth-grader at Albion, rides “Abby” and competes in four events: roping, goat tying, barrel racing and pole bending. She is sponsored by Reynolds and Sons, and Lynn-Ette and Sons.
Harlow Ashton, a fourth grader at Holley, rides “Sly” and competes in roping, goat tying, barrel racing and pole bending. She is sponsored by Sam’s Diner.
The four from Orleans are on a team based out of Wilson, the MK Quarter Horse Rodeo Team. Melissa Koser, a horse trainer, is the coach and leader of the team. There are also six girls from Niagara County on the team.
They practice horse riding and horsemanship twice a week at MK Quarter Horses. They can also practice their roping skills.
The senior boys in the rodeo compete in bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling and other events.
The girls from Orleans County and their families are grateful for the opportunity to compete in the rodeo, especially with so many school activities either cancelled or with restrictions.
In the rodeo, it’s easy to social distance on a horse, maintaining at least 6 feet apart.
The families have become close, spending the weekends together, sharing snacks and supplies.
“Everything is a team event,” said Emma Klaver’s mother, Kathy Klein. “It’s camaraderie.”
All of the rodeos will be in the Adirondacks this fall. The schedule hasn’t been announced for the spring. They would like to see at least one event in Western New York.
In the past, there have been rodeos in Southern Ontario. But the Canadian border is closed right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on the NYS High School Rodeo Association, click here.