A-Team Energy: The Official Lineup of Breakaway Horses for the 2023 NFBR

While most NFBR Qualifiers are sticking with the horses they rode throughout the ProRodeo season, a handful of ladies are choosing different horses.

Taylor Munsell is calling on Hotrod Song or "Colonel," at the 2023 NFBR.
Taylor Munsell is calling on Hotrod Song or "Colonel," at the 2023 NFBR. Photo by Click Thompson

The 2023 National Finals Breakaway Roping is taking place in less than a week, and the Top 15 ropers have chosen the horses they’ll ride in the first round of the event.

Some horses are familiar faces ProRodeo fans have seen throughout the year—and some are new. The starting lineup for the NFBR Qualifiers is as follows:

The familiar faces:

Taylor Munsell – Colonel

Munsell’s Hotrod Song, known as “Colonel,” worked in tandem with her other gelding Pals Star Shine, or “Ray” in 2023. Sadly, Munsell’s older, iconic gelding “Monster” won’t be making the trip this year, so Colonel is her first pick.

Hali Williams – Redlight

Williams kicked off an explosive 2023 thanks to Stylish Red Light. The duo stormed the winter rodeos, pulling checks at places like Fort Worth and winning $50,000 at RodeoHouston. Later in the summer, Williams purchased gelding “Hummer” to flesh out her team. Between the two geldings, Williams has chosen Redlight for the smaller, indoor setup at the NFBR.

Shelby Boisjoli – Onna

It’s no surprise Boisjoli (also going by the last name Meged) has selected her AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year No Wimpy Turns to headline the NFBR. Boisjoli and Onna mounted a massive effort to overcome Williams’ early-season lead—and are now No. 1 in the World with $164,549.

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping

Martha Angelone – Legend

Reigning World Champion Angelone may have ridden gelding Jesse James to 2022 glory, but Spots Lil Legend, known as “Legend,” is her No. 1 pick for 2023. Angelone and Legend tackled most of the 2023 season together, competing everywhere from Rodeo Austin in Texas to the Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping

Joey Williams – Baybe

Williams and her 2022 Horse of the Year Baybe Bullet, or “Baybe,” cashed in SEVERAL large wins throughout the year including Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Pendleton Round-Up.

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping

Rickie Fanning – Rollo

Fanning and Lavaca Sting, known as “Rollo,” is the oldest horse in the NFBR field at the age of 21. Don’t count him out though, Fanning rode him a majority of the year and advanced to the NFBR in 2022 on him.

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping

Josie Conner – Tonka “Hermine Sadler”

Tonka has been Conner’s “mane” man for years, hauling alongside her other gelding “Dutch.”

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping

Kendal Pierson – Smoke “Kendals Smokin Gun”

Smoke is Pierson’s No. 1, carrying her to two Canadian National Finals Championships. Now 13-years-old, Smoke has been a part of her program for seven years.

Erin Johnson – Chico “Husker Be Smokin”

Johnson’s “Chico” has carried her to her second-straight National Finals Breakaway Roping qualification. The palomino gelding was trained on Johnson’s place and has pretty much only been ridden by Johnson.

The Definitive List Of Horses Headed To The National Finals Of Breakaway Roping
“Chico”

Kelsie Domer – Little Man “Kits Tiana Play”

Little Man is the mainstay of Domer’s breakaway program, pulling a majority of the weight for the last four years Domer has owned him.

Bradi Good ­– Rango “Oh Gotta Player”

Good and “Rango” are headed to their first NFBR together following a season of consistent appearances including a No. 2 finish at the Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Cheyanne McCartney – Gus “Mister Dun Star”

“Gus” has seen the bright lights of Las Vegas before, competing with McCartney in 2022.

The change-ups

While most of the NFBR Qualifiers are sticking with the horses they rode throughout the ProRodeo season, a handful of ladies are stepping aboard different horses to take a run at the World Championship.

Dani Lowman – Boomer

Lowman’s “Boomer” has been in her string for less than two years as a heel horse. She brought him out onto the rodeo trail on a whim in late August, and the gelding delivered in the breakaway, qualifying Lowman for the Indian National Finals. She rode him in those finals in October, getting him valuable experience inside the Southpoint Arena ahead of the National Finals Breakaway roping.

Jackie Crawford – Hail Mary

Crawford may have won The American Rodeo on gelding “Kevin” in March, but she started switching to grade mare “Hail Mary” in the early summer. Although Crawford admits that Hail Mary isn’t “fancy broke,” her talent and stride fit Crawford well.

Kevin will be on the trailer headed to Las Vegas too, but Hail Mary is getting the first shot at NFBR competition.

Sarah Angelone – Wilma or Squishy

Competing in her first NFBR, Angelone is deciding between riding talented mare “Wilma” she rode a majority of the year, or her recent purchase “Squishy,” registered as Reyl Chunky. Angelone said she owned 5-year-old Squishy previously and regretted selling the gelding. She bought him back in early November, just in time for NFBR practice.

The Breakaway Roping Journal will be keeping an eye out for Angelone’s choice as the NFBR nears.

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