Conner No.1 in WCRA after Spoke Invitational Win

Josie Conner won The Spoke Invitational Breakaway Roping and moved to No.1 on the WCRA leaderboard.
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Josie Conner, 17, of Iowa, Louisiana, won the June 5th Spoke Invitational Breakaway Roping with a time of 7.57 seconds, worth $3,400, and now has 5,515.66 points, putting her at No. 1 in the Segment: S8 Ladies Breakaway Roping Open leaderboard for the WCRA’s Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo Major in Salt Lake City, Utah, that will be held on July 20–24.

Josie Conner won The Spoke Invitational Breakaway Roping in 2021.

Josie Conner and her horse Tonka getting her rope broke off the saddle horse to win The Spoke Invitational. 

“I’m really trying to get the No. 1 spot in Salt Lake City because No. 1 gets to go straight to the $25,000-round and they get to pick what perf they want to go in,” Conner said. “It’s a big advantage. It’s a long way from Iowa, Louisiana, so if I get to go up there, I’d want to have the option to be guaranteed the $25,000, so that’s why I’ve been nominating, trying to get the No. 1 spot.”

Conner, who nominated the three-head, Seventh Annual Spoke Invitational Breakaway Roping with hopes of earning points for the 2021 WCRA and Women’s Rodeo World Championships leaderboards, roped two head in 5.15 seconds to bring her to the top 20 short round at high call.

“I had a second run in the first round,” she said. “They had my calf as medium-minus, so he was a little bit slower. He didn’t break the rope quite as fast. I was 2.2 in the second round and won second in the second round. I came back to the short round and won second to Lari Dee (Guy) in the short round and won the average.”

Necessary Adjustments: New Horse, New Challenges 

The win aligned well with Conner’s nomination strategy.

“I like to nominate average ropings, or places where you’re going to get to run more than one calf,” she said.

Conner rode 14-year-old Tonka, a gelding she’s owned for the two past years.

“My dad always tells me that we move as one unit. I have a pretty good lick with him. I think he knows my moves, as well. I really like the way he scores. He’ll let me throttle off the corner a little bit so I can gauge the calf. He’ll go the same speed as the calf, and he holds great separation. He hardly ever gets tight, so it makes it easy for me to go almost all the way up to his ears and use all my rope to get to the calf.”

In addition to clinching the top spot on the WCRA leaderboard, Conner has also taken an early lead in the Women’s Rodeo World Championship, held November 1–6, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Over memorial weekend, I went to five ropings in five days. I nominated all of the open ropings and I actually took the lead in the Women’s (Rodeo) World Championship in Vegas, as well. That one isn’t until November, so I wasn’t really trying yet to get the No.1 spot, but I guess I have a jump on them.”

Nominate for your chance to compete at the Days of '47 in Salt Lake City here.