Addy Hill punched her NFR Open ticket by clinching both Wilderness Circuit titles up for grabs in 2022—with an extra passenger on board.

Thatcher, Utah’s Addy Hill owned the Wilderness Circuit Finals breakaway roping in 2022.

She not only topped the aggregate with a time of 9.1 seconds on two head, her $2,537 in earnings helped her overtake the No. 1 position in the year-end race, and she emerged victorious with $13,364.36 on the year.

Hill (26) was too long to place in the first round of the Wilderness Circuit Finals, but soon found her stride and topped both the second and third rounds with 3.0 and 2.3-second runs, respectively.

“I didn’t set myself up as good as I should have, and my first round was a little rough,” Hill said. “But, I knew the average mattered and I just needed to get the first one caught. After that, I tried to keep my mindset in a good place and take each calf as it came and just do what I could with what I had.”

Hill’s circuit finals experience seemed to mirror her 2022 season.

“My season started out a little slow,” Hill said. “I changed my mindset, started working harder and had great people surrounding me that helped turn it around towards the end.”

The Silly Secret to Staying Focused

Hill rode “Bailey,” an 11-year-old mare whose talents go beyond breakaway roping.

“Oh man, we’ve had a long journey together and I get choked up thinking about it,” Hill said.

Their journey started when Bailey was 3 years old. Hill competed in NHSRA reined cow horse events, but has since used Bailey everywhere from steer stopping at the World’s Greatest HorseWoman, to trailer loading and steer branding at ranch rodeos, to team roping. She also picked up the 2020 Wilderness Circuit Championship and was voted Horse With the Most Heart by Hill’s fellow ropers in 2021 and 2022.

“Bailey isn’t only my partner inside the arena, but outside as well,” Hill added. “My husband, Cody, and I do a lot of day work for a ranch. Bailey is my go-to for any ranch work, like branding and gathering. She steps up to the plate every single time and puts so much heart and try into everything.”

Hill didn’t just trust Bailey with her success and safety in Heber City—she had another passenger on board that she knew quiet Bailey wouldn’t harm.

“We are expecting our first baby, a little girl May 1,” Hill said. “We couldn’t be more excited! I like to think she was my good luck charm at the finals.”

When Hill isn’t in the arena or on the ranch, she’s running her own boutique, Sagebrush Dolls, and is also a licensed esthetician. Hill was overcome with gratitude after her win, thanking the sponsors who have supported breakaway ropers, the Wilderness Circuit for incuding the event, and her support system at home.

Life Can Get Overwhelming. Rope the Dummy Anyway.

“I really lucked out in the support department,” Hill said, before listing off her husband, parents and extended family who have been in her corner. “Looking to 2023, I just hope I can learn to enjoy every moment and try to balance motherhood and competing.”

Hill will be leading the charge to the 2023 NFR Open in Colorado Spring, Colorado, with her new cheerleader in tow. Joining her will be Delaney Kunau, the Wilderness Circuit reserve year-end champion.

Wilderness Circuit Finals Results

Heber City, Utah, November 4-5

First round: 1. Candida Eldridge, 2.6 seconds, $725; 2. Carly Christian, 3.0, $543; 3. (tie) Codilynn McPherson and Raelynn Wakley, 3.1, $272 each

Second round: 1. Addy Hill, 3.0 seconds, $725; 2. (tie) Bailey Kieckbusch and Shelby Logan, 3.2, $453 each; 4. Brooke Winward, 3.3, $181

Third round: 1. Addy Hill, 2.3 seconds, $725; 2. Candida Eldridge, 3.1, $543; 3. Shelby Logan, 3.2, $362; 4. Delaney Kunau, 12.0, $181

Average: 1. Addy Hill, 9.1 seconds on three head, $1,087; 2. Raelynn Wakley, 20.1, $815; 3. Codilynn McPherson, 23.2, $543; 4. Candida Eldridge, 5.7 on two head, $272