Martha Angelone has roped eight calves in 20.40 seconds, including a third-round-splitting 2.2-second run and fourth-round-winning 1.9-second run, to lead the average heading into the National Finals of Breakaway Roping's final day of competition on Dec. 10, 2020.
Angelone, originally from Virginia, is third in the breakaway roping world standings with $31,314.36 won, including the $15,396.79 she's won in the last two days at the NFBR.
"I honestly was a little bit more aggressive than I wanted to be," said Angelone, 25, who now calls Stephenville, Texas, home. "I honestly was just going to try to knock all four of my calves down today, especially how some things unfolded. The last two rounds I told myself, 'Just take the shot when it's given to you,' and it just happened faster than when I thought it was going to."
On the Rounds 5 to 8 calves, Angelone was 2.8, 2.9, 2.2 and 1.9 seconds on an 8-year-old gelding she calls Simba, registered as WR Class Whiskey.
"He's a little iffy in the box right now," Angelone said. "Charly [Crawford] helped me on the last one—keep his head straight and everything. That helped me a lot. He's a winner. He's green everywhere else, and he's still a little green roping and everything on him, but whenever you nod your head, he's good. I mean, the first round today, we might have not have stopped and I had to pull twice, but he hasn't taken the shot away from me and he's been honest all week. I can't thank him enough for that."
With a full 8.5-second lead in the average over second-place Lari Dee Guy, Angelone plans to stay hooked in the final two full rounds. The top eight in the average do not receive an average payout—instead, they move on to the progressive round of eight tomorrow morning, and the top four in that round will move to the sudden-death round of four to crown the Finals champion and determine just how much money each contender will win.
"Honestly, I'm not thinking about the end game," Angelone said. "This is a great chance that the PRCA has given us with the money that's up. So I'm still going to try to be smart for the average, but I'm going to try to do exactly what I did today. Me, being from where I came from, this is a lot of money. It's a lot of money that changes our lives. With rounds paying $4,400, that's a huge deal for me. I'm going to try to win as much money as I can. If it falls right and it happens, I don't know what I'll have for emotions tomorrow, but I'm going to try to keep winning as much as I can until then."
Lari Dee Guy, 49, of Abilene, Texas, is second in the average at 29.10 on eight head after a barrier in Round 2 slowed her down the first day.
"I feel I'm roping good," Guy said. "I got a barrier that I feel like I maybe went a little fast. I think that calf stepped a little left when he left. But I feel like I'm using my rope good and just trying to get my job done."
Guy is fifth in the world standings with $24,232.72 won, including $12,123.70 she's won in Arlington.
"When you're old like me, you go at every calf, but it's usually not going at them like Martha Angelone. I might be 2.4 or 2.5, but I'm trying to be aggressive on every single calf that I run. I just don't want to take a dumb shot. Today, one out of the four I felt like I took an extra swing on, but the rest of them I just felt like I hit the barrier and took the best shot that I had."
Guy is riding a 14-year-old black gelding she calls Rex, registered as Peptos Black Quixote, who she got from Jade Connor, dad to young breakaway sensation Josie Connor.
"He runs a lot like 8-Track (Hope Thompson's horse who also came from the Connors)," Guy said. "Rex hardly ever takes a throw, always runs to the calf and always gives you a good chance."
Colorado cowgirl Jordan Jo Fabrizio is third in the average with a 29.70 on eight.
"I've just been trying to run one calf at a time," Fabrizio, 29, said. "And do my job. I have a pretty good mental stability in my corner. Raymond [Hollabaugh] has been talking me through and helping me all the way. Mentally, I had an advantage with him because he's been here and done it. And so, it relieved a lot of my anxieties. I've just been trying to go and be aggressive and do my job one calf at a time."
Fabrizio is riding a mare named Cookie that came from Chancy and Robert Etbauer.
"She didn't really want to sell her to me, but I pulled her leg," Fabrizio said. "She makes my job easy, and I've had some growing pains with her but, if I do my job, she does hers."
Fabrizio will enter the final day of competition fourth in the world with $27,472.93 won, with $13,096.16 coming from the NFBR.
"I just want to do my job and let the chips fall where they may," Fabrizio said.
Notably, after a stand-out Day 1, Jackie Crawford took a no-time in Round 5, dropping to fifth in the average. BRJ
Round 1: Jackie Crawford, 1.9 seconds
Round 2: Martha Angelone, 1.9 seconds
Round 3: Tanegai Zilverberg, 2.0 seconds
Round 4: Hope Thompson, 2.2 seconds
Round 5: Amanda Coleman, 2.0 seconds
Round 6: Anna Bahe, 1.7 seconds
Round 7: Martha Angelone, Kirby Eppert, Anna Bahe, 2.2 seconds
Round 8: Martha Angelone, 1.9 seconds
Full Average and World Standings Info: