High school student Kalli Kouba, 15, is known as one of Florida's top horsewomen.
She's a North Fort Myers resident and barrel racing champ who will take two horses to the National Finals of the High School Rodeo Program in Wyoming later this month, to compete for more honors.
She comes from three generations of barrel racers. "I actually started riding at 3 years of age," she said. "I'm sitting seventh in the state right now for barrel racing."
Proud grandmother and local Realtor Sharon DeVillo said, "The High School Rodeo Program promotes responsibility and determination. It creates children who have respect for living, breathing things, and these children are so dedicated they are the pride of all of the people that are involved with them."
Kalli Kouba will be taking her chestnut quarter horse, Hot Toppin Perks, who stands about 15-1/2 hands high, and Doc, a little smaller but just as powerful.
She grew up with horses. Her dad had about 13 horses when she was growing up and ran her around the track.
She'll be in Wyoming July 12 through 21.
"I'm completely blown away by this," she said. "I'm a rookie."
Usually riders are much more accomplished, she added. They are usually juniors or seniors .
She is a student at Edison Collegiate High School, and will be a sophomore this coming school year.
"She needs funds to travel to the National Finals of the High School Rodeo," said DeVillo.
If you want to help the Wyoming trip, go to any Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union location and tell the teller you are contributing to the Kalli Kouba fund.