York County siblings excel in rodeos nationwide
HARRISBURG, Pa. —
One of the main attractions of the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the rodeo. The competition opens on Thursday night. But before the professionals take center stage, it was the kids turn first, competing in the junior rodeo on Saturday night.
“It’s what I love so that is why I do it. It’s my job,” said Christian Kennard.
The thrill of the ride drives Christian Kennard. At the ripe of old age 17-years-old, the York County native is already a well accomplished bull rider.
“One time I got on and you just, you get hooked after doing it once and you want to keep getting on,” Christian Kennard said.
We caught up with Christian before Christmas on his family’s Airville farm, preparing for the junior Farm Show rodeo.
“I just had to put my helmet on and I am ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” said Christian Kennard just before he rode a practice bull.
The successes are piling up. Besides a state championship, Christian finished second in the region at Junior NFR and third in the world for junior bull riders ages 15-17. That competition was held in Las Vegas.
“It's just having fun and doing what you love,” he said.
Rodeo success runs in the family. Christian’s younger sister, Anagrace Kennard is a champion horse rider competing at the Farm Show. She is hoping to push the envelope of success.
“It's quite the adrenaline rush,” said Anagrace Kennard.
Fourteen-year-old Anagrace Kennard has been riding horses competitively since she was six. She competes in five events, including barrels, pole bending, and three roping disciplines, racking up a state championship in poles.
“You are on something that you do have control of but they have a mind of their own so anything can happen,” she said.
Only positives things have happened so far for anagrace who says she is one of the youngest females to compete, especially in the roping events.
“Every event a girl can do,” said Anagrace.
In fact, Anagrace’s riding is taking her down under. This year, she is traveling to Australia to compete and tour the country. It’s an opportunity that she says would not be possible without the help of Commonwealth Charter Academy.
“Cyber school at Commonwealth has allowed them to pursue their dreams. It's given them a lot of flexibility,” said Donna Kennard, Christian and Anagrace’s mother.
Both Christian and Anagrace competed in the junior Farm Show rodeo on Saturday. Christian won the bull riding competition. Anagrace is still waiting to get some of her scores to find out how she finished.
The professional rodeo at the Farm Show begins on Thursday night.