Rodeo World changes a life

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A city girl trades dirt for concrete and asphalt every chance she gets.

“Everyone wants to know how did I get into this sport because I am black,” Animal Science junior, Khalilah Smith, said. 

Smith said she got into the Rodeo World because her mom was trying to find something to suppress her ADHD.

“And that actually brought my grades up, my attitude skyrocketed, and in class, I was more attentive,” she said.

Smith has grown to love the sport and her horse so much, she’s a little bit of herself within.

“Blue is kind of like my hungry fat self, he’s like I see food, I’m gonna go get food,” Smith said.

Blue saved the city girl who need direction. Thanks to a family friend. 

“He basically said I see you like speed, let’s get on this horse and let’s see if you actually love speed,” Smith said. 

She’s rode her new life all the way to the first Black Rodeo Queen at Michigan State University.

“It’s like even though I won, I still have a lot to do to prove that I actually needed this title, like I actually worked hard for this title because it’s a lot of people out there that don’t believe I’m supposed to be sitting in this position,” she said.

Smith says she plans on going back to her hometown to give students that kick they deserve.

“Actually get kids passionate about something other than basketball, football, something that they can actually do for themselves,” Smith said. “But they don’t know there’s so much money in the rodeo world that they can win for scholarships.” 

And who knows, she might be influencing the next Rodeo King or Queen.

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