Life's 'boring' without a horse

<I>The Eagle/Jill Mallory</I><BR>Amanda King with her horse Bucks Quixote, and some of the saddles that she has won in rodeos. Amanda is an honor-roll student in addition to her other talents.

DAYVILLE - High school rodeo state finalist and All Around Cowgirl Amanda King and mother Susan say that their involvement in horses and rodeo is just a family thing.

"It's what we do," said Amanda.

Amanda usually spends most of every day, when not at school and doing other chores, working out with her horses.

"Quixote and I are getting a break right now, just playing catch-up." Bucks Quixote is her horse.

"During the summer we ride every morning," said Susan. "She's been ranching and riding since she was five."

Susan has been involved pretty much her whole life with horses. Gary, Amanda's father, has ranched his whole life, too.

"For instance," said Amanda about her younger brother Gus, 14, "he does anything in rodeo that involves a rope."

Susan said, "He qualified for the Junior High division of the National High School Rodeo, with team roping, breakaway roping, goat tying, and ribbon roping."

Gus's horse won AQHA Junior High School division horse of the year, and Gus will be going to compete in Nationals in Gallop, N.M., on July 10-18. He will be starting high school in the fall.

Last year at Nationals, Amanda was Rookie of the Year, and Bucks Quixote, was American Quarter Horse of America (AQHA) Girls Horse of the Year for the entire nation.

"That was pretty cool," said Amanda.

"She has won saddles and scholarships. She was eighth in the nation in pole bending and 11 in barrel racing," said Susan.

"I need scholarships," said Amanda, "High School Rodeo is a great way to get scholarships and just keep improving."

One of the reasons Amanda is looking for scholarships is that she is planning to go into social services when she graduates.

"I want to help kids, I've always liked kids, and recently, I decided that's what I really want to do," she said.

Asked if she will continue to compete after she graduates, Amanda said, "I will definitely have horses. I don't know if I will have a ranch. It depends on where my job takes me."

"The friends you make in high school rodeo you have for life," said Susan. "She gets to travel and see stuff she wouldn't normally see in Dayville."

The King family has lived in Dayville for the past 10 years, before that they lived in Arock.

Between the two young Kings, they've won about 40 saddles, according to Susan.

"This year, she had a really good year at state," said Susan. "She qualified for barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping and girls cutting. She won barrels and pole bending for the state, and ended up seventh in cutting."

Amanda qualified to go to the Silver State Rodeo in Fallon.

Amanda is one of three students going to Springfield, Ill. to compete in pole bending, cutting, and barrel racing in the National High School Rodeo Finals. The family will cover about 4,200 miles.

"The school and local businesses and private people have been very supportive," said Susan. "There are lots of rodeo scholarships out there, it's really amazing."

Amanda is an honor-roll student in addition to her other talents.

Asked to recount an amusing story about Quixote, Susan had this to say: "Last year at the Baker Rodeo when Amanda was running the poles, Quixote started bucking and bucked her off. She still won the event."

"The saddle pinched him," said Amanda. "It had never happened before."

"He's just a nice, honest, athletic horse," said Susan.

Amanda has two other horses, Ike and Nikki.

When asked what her life would be like without horses Amanda replied, "Life would be really boring."

• For information on how you can contribute to the students participating in the Springfield rodeo, call Club Advisor Chris Wenick at 541-575-1530.

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