You are here
Home > Sports > Overcoming adversity, Kalgary Johns and her horse shine at INFR

Overcoming adversity, Kalgary Johns and her horse shine at INFR

Kalgary Johns smiles as she heads toward a fifth-place finish in the championship round of the Indian National Finals Rodeo on Oct. 22, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Rodeo Ready Photography)

Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Nov. 30, 2022, issue of The Seminole Tribune.

A sixth place finish for Kalgary Johns in ladies barrel racing’s average results at the Indian National Finals Rodeo would be impressive enough in any year, but there was far more to her story than what took place in the arena.

Johns’ horse, Kicks, a 20-year-old mare that she adores, almost didn’t make it to South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in Indian Country’s biggest rodeo.

Kicks was being driven cross-country from the Brighton Reservation to Las Vegas by Johns’ mom, Boogie, and friend Connor Osborn when their truck and trailer were involved in an accident in Alabama.

Johns, who was not traveling with the group, said a speeding car blew a tire and hit the truck.

“On impact it detached the trailer from the truck. The trailer kept going straight. It went off the road and hit an embankment and stopped,” Johns said.

In a Facebook post, her mom described it as “the scariest thing I have been involved in.”

Boogie and Osborn were OK, but Kicks and two other horses in the trailer were shaken up.

“They were sore,” Johns said.

There was discussion about canceling the trip and returning to Florida, but Johns said after a veterinarian in Alabama checked out the horses it was decided to continue west.

Despite their truck and trailer being “totaled,” Boogie, Osborn and the horses made it to Las Vegas with plenty of help from other rodeo folks along the long journey.

As for the barrels, Johns entered the final day in 10th place, but she moved up four spots thanks to finishing fifth in the championship round with a time of 15.624 seconds.

Overall, she was thrilled with the results.

“Kicks is 20 years old; it’s old for a performance horse. I was happy with [sixth place]. It was probably her last trip,” Johns said.

Johns, 25, has owned Kicks since her sophomore year at Moore Haven High School.

“She’s special for sure,” she said.

Back in her days as a junior rider, Johns earned top 10s at INFR, but this was the first time she competed in the adults’ category. The strong showing served as an encouraging sign for the future. The mom of twin girls and a boy said she’s contemplating buying her Women’s Professional Rodeo Association card and competing in the Southeast circuit.

Kalgary Johns and her horse Kicks cut a tight corner around a barrel at INFR. (Rodeo Ready Photography)

Johns was part of a small contingent of Seminoles who competed in INFR. The group included Jacoby Johns (bareback), Jobe Johns (tie down roping) and Norman Osceola (bull riding). Jobe Johns earned fourth place in the championship round with a time of 8.82 seconds.

More than 400 Native Americans representing more than 100 tribal nations from across the United States and Canada competed in INFR.

INFR is scheduled to return to South Point Arena in 2023 from Oct. 24 to Oct. 28.

Indian National Finals Rodeo results

All Around Cowboy: Erich Rogers (Navajo Nation)
All Around Cowgirl: Kassidy Dennison (Navajo Nation)
Bareback Bronc: Steven Dewolfe (Oglala Sioux Tribe)
Steer Wrestling: Jim Stevens (Siksika Nation)
Ladies Breakaway Roping: Bailey Bates (Navajo Nation)
Saddle Bronc: Cash Wilson (Oglala Sioux Tribe)
Tie Down Roping: Jaxon Clegg (Cherokee Nation)
Ladies Barrel Racing: Sonya Dodginghorse (Tsuut’ina Nation)
Team Roping-Header: Trey Begay (Navajo Nation)
Team Roping-Heeler: Cody Lansing (Navajo Nation)
Bull Riding: Robbie Taylor (Navajo Nation)

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at