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Kenli Marvin rode many good horses during her youth career, but found particular success with MK Vivian. Marvin is a member of the 2020 class of the NCHA Youth Hall of Fame. • Photo by Hart Photos.

NCHA Youth Hall of Fame: 2020 Inductee Kenli Marvin

Kenli Marvin has deeps roots in the cutting industry, dating back to her great-great-grandfather, but has found her own success in Youth cutting events.

Marvin, of Barnsdall, Oklahoma, was recognized for her outstanding Youth career when she was recently named one of the 2020 inductees in to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Youth Hall of Fame.

Beginnings

Marvin, 21, was born to Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Dollar Rider Tommy Marvin, who is a past NCHA Futurity Open Champion and a member of the NCHA Hall of Fame, and the “world’s greatest mom” Susan Marvin.

At the age of 2, the Marvins found an empty property in Barnsdall, Oklahoma. They moved there in a small camper where they first built a barn then the house where they currently reside today. 

Kenli attended Barnsdall public school up until the sixth grade, and then started homeschooling so she could go on the road with her family full time. She graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in theology. 

Sam Graves who won the very first cutting ever on “Old Hub” is Kenli’s great-great-great grandpa, so one could say cutting has been in her blood since the beginning. Her parents Tommy and Susan had her on a horse as soon as she arrived home from the hospital. 

At the age of 5 she competed in her first cutting on her dad’s trusted turn back horse Cutters Toy. By the age of 7, marvin made her first NCHA Summer Spectacular Junior. Youth Finals on Iza Jo Lena and there was no stopping her after that. She went on to make her first NCHA limited age Non Pro finals at the age of 11 on MK Kit Mate. 

Youth Career

  • Kenli’s most memorable youth wins are:
  • NCHA Jr Youth World Champion and show Champion 2012 
  •  NCHA Sr Youth World Champion 
  •  Reserve Show Champion 2016 
  •  NCHA Sr Youth Eastern Nationals Champion 2015
  •  Summer Spectacular Scholarship Finalist 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2018
  •  Area 8 Champion 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 

Through the course of Marvin’s youth years she had the opportunity to ride many incredible horses. At the top of that list is MK Vivian. Although they got off to a rough start when Vivian bucked her off the first time she ever stepped on her, the pair quickly pulled it together and won not only one, but two NCHA Youth World Championships. 

The first time Kenli won the Youth World she only rode “Vivian,” but the second time around Vivian was in foal when the hauling year started, so she had help from CP Jesse Cat who carried her to an Eastern Nationals Championship, and also rode Sannabelle Cat, “MK Reymate, and MK Chapman. Each horse pulled together to help until Vivian was ready to go again. 

In Marvin’s time as a youth she also had the honor of showing the horse her dad won the NCHA Futurity on Highbrow Supercat. Other special horses throughout Marvin’s years were Catsa Movin, Tattoos On This Town, and Lenas Little Smarty who started her obsession with Paint horses. 

Marvin says she wouldn’t be the person she is today without each and every one of these special horses. 

Thankful

Being inducted into the Youth Hall of Fame is a moment Marvin said she has dreamed of since the age of 5. She said she’s very aware she didn’t get here on her own, and would like to first thank her sweet savior Jesus, who held her hand every step of the way. She would also like to thank all the amazing horse owners who were willing to sharing their horses throughout the years, this is a kindness that can’t be repaid, but she hopes to pass it on in the future. She is grateful for everyone’s help and support in and out of the arena. Lastly, she’d like to thank her parents who believed in her no matter what, and always made sure she had a horse to show. 

Kenli would like to leave a few words of encouragement to all the younger kids that might be listening:

“No matter the odds never give up,” she said. “If you work at it hard enough the possibility are endless!”

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