Cousins to compete at the Junior World Rodeo Finals Las Vegas
For the third year in a row, Kami Klepac and Paisley Pierce, cousins from Van Vleck, get to race among the stars in Las Vegas this December.
They will be one of 160 contestants competing at the KK Run for Vegas/ Junior World Finals Barrel Race and Pole Bending, set for Dec. 10 - 14 in Las Vegas. The event will be held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by these kids, and they have all earned the right to compete in Las Vegas,” said Kelly Kaminski, the event’s organizer and a two-time world champion barrel racer in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. “Each of these kids will be competing for over $150,000 in cash and prizes.”
Each competitor will run twice, and the top 20 contestants with the fastest two-run cumulative times will advance to the championship round.
“These are all kids 17 and under, and they come from all across the country and Canada,” said Kaminski, a five-time NFR qualifier who also was a two-time reserve world champion. “This is a great opportunity for these kids.”
The KK Run for Vegas/Junior World Finals is one of the most prestigious youth Western events in the country, and only the top qualifiers have earned the right to compete.
“This is a very exciting time for every child, every family that will be part of it,” Kaminski said. “As a former teacher, I’ve always wanted to be involved with kids, and this is a great way to tie rodeo and kids together in a championship format.”
Kami and Paisley practice together, attend multiple rodoes together, and always cheer one another on.
Kami, a 10-year-old attending E. Rudd Intermediate, will be competing in the barrel racing and pole bending, while Paisley, a Junior at iSchool Virtual Academy, will be competing in the Pole Bending and the Girls Breakaway Roping.
Paisley also qualified for the Mike and Sherrylynn Johnson’s Vegas Tuffest Jr. World Championship in the Girls Breakaway Roping.
The girls practice day in and day out to prepare themselves and their horses for the long haul, competing in the most prestigious event in the sport of youth rodeo. They will attend back number ceremonies, autograph sessions, and more.