Barrel Racing Event Honors Saginaw Woman – Cloquet Pine Journal


SAGINAW – When Krissy Clemens’ daughter Kaley Summer Cooke died at age 21 of a drug overdose, she knew she wanted to do something to honor her daughter.

The Saginaw wife decided to build a horse arena and name it after Kaley, who died in 2014. KC Arena now hosts several barrel racing events each year and will host its 8th annual Kaley Memorial Race on Friday the 26th. august. and Saturday August 27. Clemens also recently received 501(c)3 nonprofit status and said she hopes to run sessions for veterans and at-risk youth to work with horses.

Kaley had been riding horses since she was a little girl and loved barrel racing, Clemens said. The event offers people who knew Kaley the chance to come together to remember her and participate in the sport she loved.

“I just want people to come together and realize that wasn’t the way to go,” Clemens said.

The part of the event that Clemens looks forward to the most each year is when it begins. As the national anthem is played during the opening ceremony, a saddled horse is paraded around the arena with Kaley’s boots in its stirrups.

“It’s just a quick reminder of why we’re all here,” Clemens said.

Haley Psyck grew up riding with Kaley and attended the memorial event every year. She said the opening ceremony was also one of her favorite moments.

Psyck described Kaley as a caring and helpful person.

“She just had the best advice,” Psyck said. “If a child had trouble with a horse going into the arena, she would get off her horse and go help them.”

Over the years, the event has grown in popularity. Psyck said she remembers 20 to 30 people participating when Clemens first started it. This weekend, Clemens expects 50 to 75 people to compete on Friday, and she said she hopes 100 people will race on Saturday.

“It started out smaller and then more people started coming as the arena got used. It’s a great arena in everyone’s backyard,” Psyck said. “…The last three years, it’s only grown. There are hundreds of people coming now.”

Clemens has five belt buckles to award for timed events as well as pole bending. In addition to belt buckles, cash prizes are also available. The event will also include a National Barrel Horse Association MN-06 race.

Members of the public are invited to attend. Visit the KC Arena Facebook page for more information.


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