Training the Future
The transition from collegiate athlete to professional athlete is a challenge. Loni Kay Lester is taking on that task with full force. Lester was the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo Breakaway Champion. She was also the women’s all-around champion at the CNFR that year. She rode for Sam Houston State University for four years and graduated last year. She is an extremely talented rider in the barrel racing and breakaway roping events. Lester grew up riding horses as a small child and quickly fell in love.
“My family has always had livestock and been in the cattle business, therefore we have always had horses,” Lester said. “I have been riding since I was in diapers. My dad traded a truck for my first good barrel horse and I was hooked. Friends along the way, at youth rodeos, playdays and other rodeos helped me get started roping also. My parents have always been so supportive, and tried to learn more about the sport to help me get the best performance horses I could, and get me the help I needed.”
Competitors fall in love with the rodeo industry for many reasons. For Lester, it is the amazing people and following the genetics of the horses.
“I love watching the bloodlines of the horse industry and watching these animal athletes perform,” Lester said. “I also love the friends and family you meet along the way.”
Lester found a passion for training and raising colts. They are the future for our industry. She enjoys being there for every step along the way to creating a great athlete.
“I have always had a huge passion for horses, and as I got older I no longer wanted to be just a competitor,” Lester said. “I developed a love for colts and putting handles on them and teaching them things. It is the greatest feeling to raise, train and compete on a great one. Although it can be very frustrating along the way because they are babies, it is worth it.”
The future holds many great things for Loni Lester. She wants to take her time with her young horses to ensure they stay healthy. She plans to compete at the NFR in the upcoming years.
“I plan to get into the futurities one day,” Lester said. “I love young horses, so as of now since I only have one really competitive mare seasoned, I will season these colts out and sell some to see which of them I will keep alongside of her. I plan to make a run for the NFR one day, but I am just waiting for the right time. I do not want to force my colts. I am very excited for my future horses coming up. I have a lot of talented colts going right now, and it is all in God’s timing when it’s my time to go.”
Training and raising colts requires hard work. Lester needs jeans that can hold up to the wear and tear of her job. She loves how comfortable Kimes Ranch Jeans are and how well they endure her daily life.
“I love how comfortable the Lola is,” Lester said. “I also like the wash and fitting of the Alex. I love family owned operations because that’s what my family business is all about. The look of all the apparel is great for cowboy attire. It looks very sharp and professional.”
Kimes Ranch Jeans is ecstatic to have Loni Kay Lester on our team. We look forward to seeing her in the Pro Rodeo events with her home-grown horses. Be sure to check out her YouTube video with Silver Lining Herbs and her social media outlets below.
Instagram - @lonikaylester
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/loni.k.lester
Photos courtesy of Lone Wolf Photography, Silver Lining Herbs and Loni Lester
~ Courtney Hall