0 7 min 3 mths

Hits: 13

Dedication to horses since childhood with equine activities planned for a lifetime are ingredients for a horse show queen. 

Perfectly fitting the criteria, Kairi Quinn, Spring Hill, was crowned the Kansas State Horse Show Circuit KSHSC Queen at Tonganoxie. 

Coronation for the 16-year-old daughter of Cale and Roxanne Quinn was highlight of the KSHSC yearend benefit show. 

 “I’ve had many setbacks during my riding career, but they just made me stronger and a better rider,” Kairi declared. 

“The first horse I ever showed was my friend’s horse named Dom,” Kairi remembered. “He was super fun. I enjoyed showing so much I talked to trainer Erin Kratz about other showing opportunities.” 

Taking lessons on the 13-year-old mare Sweetie, Kairi’s future was to be highlighted with horses. “I really never got into the excitement of showing horses until I started riding Sweetie,” Kairi admitted. 

The mare wasn’t trained to be a show horse. “But with my determination and work ethic I made her one,” the queen said. “I believe this has improved my riding today.” 

Kairi and Sweetie competed in western and English competition collecting local circuit awards all the way to the American Royal. “Sweetie had a huge impact on my horse experiences, and I miss her,” Kairi said. “She’s living her best life on a Colorado ranchhelping another inexperienced rider.” 

A five-year-old dark bay mare called Minni is considered Kairi’s mount today, although the mare hasn’t been shown that much. “I was ecstatic to show Minni last year because she is so talented and fun to work with,” Kairi credited. 

However, Minni tore a suspensory ligament early in the show season. “This was rough, but my trainer Erin gave me an option that turned out quite well,” Kairi said. “I appreciate Bob Paulson letting me show his horse Dakota so we could be the KSHSC highpoint rider 

“Minni is continually recovering from her injury. We are improving as a team every day,” Kairi insisted. 

However, the queen is now riding a 14-year-old dark bay gelding called JR owned by her trainer. “We fit each other quite well even winning third in hunter under saddle at last year’s American Royal. That was a major accomplishment for me,” Kairi confessed. 

“I’ve never had a horse as talented as JR,” the queen continued. “I’m showing him at the Color Breed Congress, Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has been my goal since I started riding. I’m so excited to see what we can do.” 

Considerable credit is given by Kairi to her parents as well as her trainer for her horse achievements. 

“My parents both Dad and Mom have been a big help acquiring and taking care of my horses,” Kairi acknowledged. “I really appreciate all that they do for me.”  

Cale has worked at The Aldi Warehouse in Olathe 22 years with his current position a supervisor. Roxanne has a long career as a professional counselor and therapist now serving Overland Middle School three years. 

“I’ve taken lessons from Erin Kratz at E.P. Training eight years improving my ability with several different horses,” Kairi said. “Erin has taught me so much not only about horses but myself as well. Riding horses has made me a stronger person physically and mentally.  

“With horses sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to,” Kairi said. “It’s important that you are always flexible.”  

Queen Kairi Quinn keeps even busier with her teenage life’s activities. Junior at Spring Hill High School, FFA member three years, Kairi will attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.  

A leader throughout her community and school, she is manager for the Spring Hill Broncos Varsity football team. With a 3.9 grade point average, Kairi has been nominated for membership in the National Honor Society. 

A member of the Johnson County Sharon 4-H Club nine years, Kairi have served several offices now being club president. 

She enjoys showing swine, goats, photography, and painting pictures. “I placed third in the county fair goat showmanship which was a big honor for my first year showing goats,” Kairi smiled.  

An active KSHSC rider seven years, Kairi served as the youth representative, youth treasurer, and is now youth vice president.  

During her KSHSC Queen reign, Kairi will attend several other horse events throughout the Midwest. “I want to spread the word about the KSHSC youth program,” she said. “I will talk to children and their parents about the benefits of riding horses.”  

Near term objectives for the queen are expanding her show competitions next year riding both Minni and JR.  

“I have been talking to my trainer about qualifying for the state fair too,” Kairi said. “I will only be showing in English classes at the Color Breed Congress this fall. But I plan to participate in both Western and English events to compete for the all-around award next year.” 

Plans after high school are yet undetermined. “I love learning about horses. I think that horses are one of the most therapeutic things in the world. I want to do what I love,” Kairi said. “I would like to go into the equine or animal field for my career.” 

She is considering being a veterinarian as well as learning about equine physical therapy, equine massage, and equine chiropractic.  

“I’m also interested in the medical field working in anatomy and physiology,” she said. “At this point, I think I’ll attend Johnson County Community College and then Kansas State University. The future will tell.” 

Children can “learn so much from horses,” the queen insisted. “I love helping others and especially younger children with their horses,” she said. “Owning and showing horses is a learning experience teaching you how to have strong work ethic and many problem-solving skills.” 

Seeing growth for the horse industry, Kairi said, “Being around horses has truly changed my life in so many positive ways. We need more leaders and mentors to assist our younger generations.  

“Though helping others is important, having them do it by themselves is also valuable,” Queen Kairi Quinn contended. “It teaches youth responsibility and accountability. Helping and teaching others not only helps them but also builds my confidence and knowledge with horses.”