Images © Roy Livingston
During June 2015 I received a message on Facebook from a fellow motocross family. Roy Livingston saw a post I made through I Ride 4 Cheetahs – @IRideForCheetahs on Facebook, an initiative for the Cheetah Conservation Fund CCF to help raise awareness for cheetahs and their plight, through the sport of motorcycle racing.
Roy shared his family’s love for cheetahs and was looking for ways to help raise awareness. The Motorsports crowd can be a tough group, so needless to say I was over the moon!!
With an advanced degree in Vertebrate Zoology, as well as, Conservation Biology, Roy has always had an appreciation and love for big cats, but the cheetah is where his passion lies.
“Their physical abilities and stunning beauty, as well as their ability to overcome so many obstacles in their natural setting and still survive”,
is what he finds most remarkable. This is a passion that his family shares. When I asked Roy how they wanted to help, he told me about his daughter who’s biggest dream is to raise awareness for cheetahs while racing motocross. Sissy was only 10 years old then.
So without further ado I am honored to introduce an amazing 14 year old girl whose biggest wish is to raise awareness for her beloved cheetahs throughout her career as a young up and coming motocrosser. What makes her even more special is that she is competing in a sport that has been dominated by males for a very long time!
Kaitlyn Sissy Livingston is a 14 year old Supercross, Motocross, and Sprint Enduro racer from Cookeville,TN USA. She has her own tracks that she has designed at her family’s farm for training purposes. She races Husqvarna Supermini 85cc and 125cc. She competes in the Girls and Women’s classes, as well as, Supermini and 125cc classes (these are open classes, for both men and women).
Accomplishments include 4 time AX/SX champion, 2 times Mini O’s Triad award winner, Race Tech National Rising Star award, Multiple series, state, and national podiums and championships, Multiple time Loretta Lynn National Championship qualifier.
Her favorite types of riding is Free riding and SX (supercross) “Sis got into the sport following her older sisters and dad around from track to track watching them race. Her first dirt bike was a Yamaha PW 50cc when she was 6 years old. Her goals include continuing as a rider and going on into a medical field as a career. Her biggest supporters are Shannon and Casey Visger of Visger Racing, O’Neal Racing and Jimmy Petrie of Braap Supply.”
Sissy has an amazing skill set and natural flow on the motorcycle. Add to that a big contagious smile that radiates her passion for the sport, she really catches people’s attention. She has major sponsors from the industry backing her and she is very well known within the motorcycle community. She is making a much anticipated change to the larger Husqvarna 125cc racing bike this year and wants to take her beloved Cheetahs with her. Her goal is to have people notice the CCF logo, ask questions about it and have them research the foundation.
Ultimately Sissy’s goal is to bring the spotlight of her success to the world of conservation and the work CCF is doing to help protect the cheetah and its natural habitat. The past 2 years she has run with the the “I Ride 4 Cheetahs” logo and received tons of questions about it. This year the CCF Logo is placed as the Title Sponsor decal on her 125cc bike. Companies pay to have their logo placed here, this is the biggest space for advertisement on the bike!
The National Championships will be held on Jul 29th – Aug 3rd at the Rocky Mountain in Hurricane Mills TN. I am including a post from Roy after Sissy qualified for this big event. Knowing the struggles, time and money these racers and their families put into this sport, this really warmed my heart!!
“So proud of this girl. She only got to run her actual motor once the entire weekend. In that moto she got hung up and was literally dead last about a 1/3 of the track behind the lead pack. She ran the wheels off that little bike and finished back up front in 6th. After that moto our pit turned into a swap meet! Everything that could go wrong did. There were motors, hoses, stators, everything you can think of laying everywhere. Oil pouring out of motors and lots of bump starting. Somehow #visgerracing got her on the track with something that would at least make it 4 laps. There is NO way she would have that ticket without her positive attitude and their hard work. Thank you guys so much! First time I have ever screamed at her ‘slow down the motor won’t make it like that’.”
Raising awareness about our cheetahs to every stranger we meet, no matter where, is a passion that we share. Sissy has something very much in common with the cheetah, the will and tenacity to survive and come out on top, extinction is no option!!