Barrel Racing and Breakaway
Until now, there weren’t really opportunities for me to rope while running barrels. It’s been a fun change of pace to be able to throw the rope in and go.
This was one of my shortest Fourth of July runs in a decade of rodeoing. The Reno Rodeo started late this year, and the Calgary Stampede started early. For me, Cowboy Christmas got squeezed in between the two.
I won around $5,000 at Reno, and then Sister and I ran in two Oregon rodeos—St. Paul and Molalla—before taking off for Calgary on Wednesday, July 3rd. I finished fifth at Molalla and picked up another $1,500. Pool A perfs started yesterday at the Calgary Stampede. We won third.
Another thing that was different about the Fourth this year: I roped in a breakaway jackpot in Reno the day before the Reno Rodeo long round.
Breakaway roping is picking up momentum. Breakaway has long been a WPRA event, but recently the PRCA has sanctioned more and more events. This year thirty-four PRCA rodeos have breakaway roping. More and more committees are coming on board. It’s new and exciting for everyone.
I’m a little rusty. I haven’t roped seriously since college, and that was about ten years ago. I haven’t had many opportunities to breakaway, because I was gone barrel racing all the time. But now I can do both at some of the same rodeos. There’s not a lot of money in breakaway roping, but it’s a super-fun, super-fast event. It’s exciting for the crowds to watch. Now that it’s catching on, I think you’ll see more money added.
I roped all through high school and college. Until now, there weren’t really opportunities for me to rope while running barrels. It’s been a fun change of pace to be able to throw the rope in and go. This spring, I rode a rope horse we raised called Striker at five or six breakaway ropings, including amateur rodeos.
The Reno jackpot was part of the Bob Feist Invitational. I was 3.9 on the first one and 3.5 on the second. In the short round I was 3 seconds flat and won a little check—$400. I was a swing behind everyone else. The winning times were in the low-to-mid two seconds. Considering that I haven’t roped seriously in a number of years, I was pretty happy.
I left Striker behind when we drove up to Calgary on Wednesday. Now, I’m totally focused on barrel racing. In the past couple of years, Sister and I have had good luck at the Stampede. Last year, I made it to Showdown Sunday but not the final four round. And in 2017, we won second.
Regardless of how I do, it’s such an honor to be a part of the Calgary Stampede. It’s fun and relaxing. You get to stay put for a bunch of consecutive days. It’s the perfect ending to a busy Fourth—or even a not-so-busy Fourth.