Barreling to the end

Senior at Delta High School, Kaitlyn Sharpe, poses with her horse Pica during senior photos.

Senior at Delta High School, Kaitlyn Sharpe, poses with her horse Pica during senior photos.

Alyssa Bayles, Copy editor

Thump. Thump. Thump. Her heart beats to the rhythm of her horse’s breath, both anxious to start the competition. They sit outside of the gate, waiting for the signal to go. Over the speaker comes the words: “Up next is Kaitlyn Sharpe running poles.”  With the adrenaline coursing through her veins, she takes off with her horse. No longer is she anxious, she just thinks about what needs to get done. There’s a thrill of sneaking by the poles with only mere inches to not hit one. The thrill of the wind against her face. The thrill of knowing her horse and her are competing as one. And as they finish there is a good relief, knowing they did all they could.

Kaitlyn Sharpe, senior at Delta High School, competes on the Tri-County Rodeo team for barrels and pole bending events. Sharpe has rode horses and competed in rodeos since a young age. In 2017 she purchased her own horse, Pica, with money saved up from the fair. Since then, many hours and hard work has been put in to train her horse in barrels and poles. Sharpe said “We’ve just come a long way in our performance, and her maturity levels and experience.” Sharpe has competed in all four years on the high school rodeo team, and this spring season she was looking forward to beating personal records. 

With the current COVID-19 crisis, many of Sharpe’s rodeos through the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association have already been canceled. Only time can tell if there will be any rodeos later this spring. Even though Sharpe has not been able to compete, she still rides her horse as much as she can between homework and her job. Sharpe usually fits in time to ride 2-3 days a week for a couple hours, just depending on the weather and how much homework she has. That is one advantage with the quarantine, Sharpe has been able to ride her horse more.  

“It sucks that a lot of my rodeos have been canceled, because my horse and I were in a position to do really good and beat personal records,” Sharpe said. She still has hope to get a couple rodeos in since they haven’t completely called it off.    

Not only is Sharpe upset about her high school rodeo season, she’s upset about the end of her senior year. “It’s hard to think that I might not get to truly finish out my high school years,” Sharpe explained. Sharpe has been able to adjust to the online schooling fairly well because her teachers have “done a great job with the adjustment as well.” She enjoys having zoom meetings,online virtual classes, which allow her to see her classmates. 

In Sharpe’s free time between school work and riding her horse, she works at the vet clinic in Olathe called Western Slope Animal Hospital. She works here to help train for her future job, a veterinary technician. After graduation, she plans on attending online schooling at the Penn Foster Online College Veterinary Technician program. And even though times like these cause uncertainty, Sharpe keeps her head held up high from lessons she learned in her life about accepting and adjusting to situations beyond control. 

With strength from God and family, Kaitlyn Sharpe continues to ride her horse despite the craziness in the world right now. “It’s always been a big part of my family and my lifestyle, and I’m just really passionate about it, and horses,” Sharpe said. 

So during this quarantine, hold onto those things you love, find strength in those around you, and cherish what you have.