By John L. Braese
VALE – Starting at an early age, Vale’s Kyla Wright accompanied her father to rodeos and watched as queens buzzed the crowd. Growing up as a ranching girl, her typical attire on horses consisted of jeans and t-shirt.
Fast forward to July 4 and Wright, sitting on her grandfather’s horse Mosey, awaited the announcement of which contestant would be named the 2018 Vale 4th of July queen.
Wright heard her name called.
The contest had been an experience in unknown territory, as Wright had never previously entered any rodeo queen contest.
“Half the girls there had experience in queen contests,” said Wright. “This was the first time I tried.”
Being a novice in queen contests, Wright and her parents, Lee and Charity, scrambled in the weeks prior to the competition.
“I had to go out and buy shirts and some other stuff as I usually just ride in a t-shirt and jeans,” she said. “The other girls competing were so helpful all throughout the competition. I still need to buy some more shirts that are more formal.”
“I think it is great we will have a girl from Vale representing the local rodeo,” she said.
Wright takes over from the queen Megan Travis.
Wright was two weeks old when the family moved back to a local ranch that was, at that time, owned by her grandparents.
“We have beef cattle and run both pairs and yearlings,” the ranching girl said. “I started riding, sitting with my dad on his horse, before I could even walk.”
Although having horses of her own, Wright borrowed her grandfather’s horse for the queen competition. The 15-year old quarter horse was the correct decision as Wright walked away with the horsemanship award as well
“Mosey can do anything,” she said. “I have roped off him and done barrels. He is just a great horse.”
The title will add the duties of queen to the 16-year old cowgirl’s already busy life.
The Vale queen will travel the Northwest, representing Vale at rodeos and social events. With a ranch to run and other activities already planned in the busy girl’s life, the Wright family could be hard to catch at home.
“I am taking a steer to fair this year,” she said. “He is home grown, right out of our herd.”
Wright is a member of FFA and Honor Society at Vale High School, where she will be a junior in the fall. Come winter, Wright will also take back to the basketball court as a member of the Lady Vikings.
“We have friends that will help us out when things get busy,” said Wright.
Wright has no firm plans after high school.
“My sister Shelby is attending equine dentistry school in Glenns Ferry, but I really have not decided yet,” she said. “I might possibly become a teacher, but returning back to the ranch is pulling me also.”
The one firm plan is representing the Vale 4th of July Rodeo for the next 12 months.
“Living here, I can attend local activities representing the rodeo all year,” she said.
Have a news tip? Contact reporter John L. Braese at 541-473-3377 or [email protected].