A passion for horses spurred the creation of a new rodeo club at Kootenai Junior-Senior High School.
And to the knowledge of many this is the first time for the school to have a club of this kind.
Abby Tiller and Sarah Thaut are the first two members of the new club that is open to both junior high and high school students.
Sarah’s mom, Cheri, said the two junior girls enjoy playing other sports, but have a deep love for horses and rodeo.
“We tried rodeo this year through the Central Idaho Association and they fell in love with it,” Mrs. Thaut said.
From there, the girls decided to pursue a rodeo club at their own school. The school board, Mrs. Thaut said, was very supportive of the idea.
“This is the girls’ passion. Horses are what they love. They were never bored during COVID-19. The rodeo club will give kids another avenue to participate in if they don’t do normal sports and they will also be able to letter in rodeo like you would football or volleyball.”
Students as young as sixth grade will be able to participate, Mrs. Thaut said.
The goal for this year is to practice and compete at local O-Mok-Sees. Mrs. Thaut said they want to introduce students to the different events they can compete in from poles to barrel racing to roping to goat tying to steer daubing. Then, next year, the students will travel to rodeos around Idaho. Fundraising is also planned.
Those who want to participate will join the club as well as register through the National High School Rodeo Association. There is plenty of time to register as the deadline is next August.
Students will compete individually, but practice and travel as a team. Mrs. Thaut said students will be there to cheer each other on, help each other and encourage one another.
“It’s going to be a learning year for all of us,” Mrs. Thaut said. “But I think this is going to be really good.”
Principal Karl Coghill said anytime the school can offer more activities for students to explore is a good thing.
“Hobbies are a huge part of learning and this is another way for students to explore what life has to offer, interact with others and learn. A student may participate in rodeo club and decide to go on and become a veterinarian. You don’t know what impact it could have,” he said.
Mrs. Thaut said anyone interested in participating can get more information at the school or by contacting her or Nicki Charles, who is also helping lead the club. She said there may be opportunities for those who don’t necessarily have horses to get involved as well.
“If anyone needs help or has questions, they are welcome to call me,” Mrs. Thaut said.
She can be reached at (208) 755-0887.