2017-12-05 / Front Page

Walton Teen Takes State Rodeo Title

By Patty Lollot

Kiara Scofield of Walton, Miss Teen Rodeo New York for 2018, strikes a pose at home with Tucker, her Quarter Horse cross gelding. 
Patty Lollot/The Reporter Kiara Scofield of Walton, Miss Teen Rodeo New York for 2018, strikes a pose at home with Tucker, her Quarter Horse cross gelding. Patty Lollot/The Reporter WALTON--When 16-year-old equestrian Kiara Scofield struck up a conversation at this year’s Delaware County Fair with Caroline Oeschger, the Miss Teen Rodeo New York Queen for 2017, she never imagined that she would bear that title for 2018.

“We just started talking about the title and Caroline encouraged me to enter,” recalled Kiara.

She made the application online and it was involved. Aside from being an accomplished rider competing in gymkhana events and team penning, Scofield had to write an essay about herself and answer questions about why she would be good for the position as a national emissary for the sport of rodeo.

Additionally, on Nov. 3-4, there was a two-day pageant held at the Glens Falls Civic Center for naming the state’s Miss Rodeo, Miss Teen Rodeo and Little Miss Rodeo. The event required contestants to ride a horsemanship pattern, dress in gowns for a fashion walk and be selected by a three-judge panel. Narrowed down to three finalists, Scofield was ultimately crowned the 2018 queen.

The road to her success started with her horse, Tucker, a 15-hand grey Quarter Horse cross gelding, on whom she competes in numerous timed events. However, before Tucker, the road to success was pretty rocky. “I had an accident riding two years ago,” she remembers. At that time she had a mare who became light on her front end and ultimately flipped over backwards, taking Kiara with her. That mare went down the road to a professional and the search began for a more suitable mount. “I looked at a lot of horses, and finally found Tucker posted on Facebook.” At that time the horse belonged to a lady in Unadilla. Kiara took him home and while she liked him, she found him “pushy” and his ground manners needed some improvement, she noted.

Working with a number of area trainers including Lisa Burdick, Danielle O’Neill, Ky- ley Wormuth and Tammy Schiemere of Bucking Girls Performance Horses in Wells Bridge, Kiara and Tucker came to a meeting of the minds and started working well with each other. “We’re both stubborn,” she admits, but she’s learned to finesse her way with Tucker to get the most out of him. As most riders know, you cannot always “muscle” your will on a 1,000 pound animal. “I learned I had to ‘ask’ him to do things,” she said.

Her favorite event is cloverleaf barrel racing and she’s scored some respectable times, including a low 15 second run. In the dash event, she’s clocked an impressive 8.04 second run. “Tucker has learned to give 100 percent,” she said of her partner.

With her new title comes a great deal of responsibility and travel. “It’s my job to educate the public about rodeo sports and there are books to be read so I’m better informed,” she explained.

She will be required to give speeches, answer impromptu questions, participate in fashion shows and ride.

Her schedule, so far for the coming year, includes The Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo in Harrisburg, Pa., in January, The Equine Fest in Hamburg in March, The Cowboy Spring Ball in Angola in April, The Gerry Rodeo Roughstock Day Camp in May, the Ranches, Rodeos, and Wrangler Celebration, which coincides with National Cowboy Day in July, and in August, she will be attending the 74th Annual Gerry Rodeo as royalty.

Getting to where she is and where she has to travel has been expensive. Her mother, Missy, noted that, “If we had to purchase a gown for the fashion walk, it would have retailed for $1500,” an astronomical figure. However, through friends and social media items were borrowed to offset the costs. Additionally, a great deal of gratitude is given to area sponsors who have made this journey possible.

“Sponsors like Chad Hall of Ioxus, Shadow Valley Farm, Breezy Mountain Swirl and Zlathels Farm, have contributed so much,” said Scofield. “Most of all, I want to thank my mom. She helps to push me through a lot.”

Now a junior at Walton Central School, she is also studying cosmetology at BOCES (she does all her own hair and makeup for her title appearances) and she further hopes to study criminal justice in college with an eye to social work.

As for her riding career, she would like to eventually have a barn where she can train gaming horses.

Her mother credits Tucker with much of her daughter’s success. “I find that Tucker and Kiara have built a relationship that I never imagined. The trust between them is phenomenal. When she needs a best friend, he is that friend.”

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