Taking a cue from his father, 18-year-old Kyle Miller has been riding and racing horses for nearly his entire life.
Miller, a Rossville High School graduate, tries to ride every day in preparation for barrel racing competitions that he enters with his father, Dennis Miller, frequently. This summer, Kyle Miller received two notable awards, one on an international scale, and another top-place win at the Indiana State Fair.
“I got champion at the state fair this year for barrels,” Miller said. “It only took 10 years at the fair for me to get it.”
He also received fourth-place in the 2012 National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Championships in Perry, Georgia this summer. He competed against more than 1,000 other participants in his division. The contestants were from 36 states, Canada, Italy, Panama and Australia and went from July 21-28.
This is the first year he competed in the world competition, and ran a 15.499 second pattern for the fourth-place win.
The objective is to ride around three barrels that are set up in a triangular or clover-like pattern in the fastest time possible.
Miller rode his father’s 8-year-old quarter horse Maverick in both the state fair and world championships because his horse had an injury.
Miller trains the horses and has two of his own, Spice and Moneymango.
“I think it’s a different kind of sport, because you have to get along with horse and be one with the horse,” Miller explained.
His affinity for horses grew at an early age, but was more interested in racing than the other competitions forms he could have tried.
“I didn’t really enjoy going slow and making my horse look pretty,” Miller said. “I just wanted to go fast.”
In October, Miller plans to attend farrier school for a 36-week program at the Kentucky Horseshoeing School.
“I’ll be doing that as my own business,” he said.