Road Stories

Timeless Cowgirl

Clem Kayser

by Katie Frank

Clem Kayser

Women of the West is one of the most popular sections of Western Horseman, and I tend to agree. The gals we feature are an authentic representation of the horse industry and it puts the spotlight on women who, honestly, would rather be out riding than posing for a picture.

Clem Kayser of Ellensburg, Washington, was my first Women of the West interview. She couldn’t have been more kind and gracious, and topped it all off with a spunky attitude. At 84 years old, she minds the house, doctors the cows, and rides into the hills as if she were 50 years younger.

While Clem wasn’t born on a ranch, you wouldn’t know it. Her late husband, Smoke, taught her to ride, and soon her and her sons were touring the rodeo circuit. When I met Clem, her grandson, Cass Kayser, had just placed in the roping at Pendleton. Molly Morrow, the photographer for the day, laughed as she recalled hearing Clem and the family cheer louder than the rest of the crowd.

kayser 0462Photographer Molly Morrow and Clem Kayser are longtime friends.

After our interview, Molly, Clem and I headed outside to shoot Clem’s portrait. Without missing a beat, she climbed on her horse and sidled over to the metal gate and unlatched it. We scrambled after her offering assistance, but she wouldn’t have any of it.

Clem is a person I wish all women could meet, and featuring her in our magazine is only a glimpse at her determination and spirit.

To read the Women of the West featuring Clem, read the April 2014 issue of Western Horseman. To order a back issue, call 706-823-3526.

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