As the final month of the 2023 ProRodeo season approaches, Dani Lowman is stepping on the accelerator, winning two rodeos the weekend of Aug. 25–27, 2023, at the Kitsap Stampede in Bremerton, Washington, and at the Golden Spike Rodeo in Tremonton, Utah.
As of Aug. 25, 2023, Lowman sits No. 7 in the world standings with $79,703 won.
Lowman hit up the Golden Spike Rodeo first, competing in the slack and roping in 2.0 seconds, winning $6,011.
“Tremonton had good, slow cattle, they were the ones we roped at Logan, Utah,” Lowman recalled.
Knowing what kind of cattle she was up against, Lowman picked out one of her shortest ropes.
Her seasoned rodeo mare Shi-Biz read the situation and stopped neatly, not giving Lowman a chance to pull her slack.
“I hardly ever pull my slack or pull to stop,” Lowman said. “My rope is so short—it’s here and then it’s gone. The other day I rode a horse with less experience in an Indian Rodeo in Polson, Montana, and I had to do both. It took me a second to find everything.”
At the Kitsap Stampede, Lowman roped in 1.9 seconds to win $2,970.
“Bremerton was a drive and I’d never been up there,” Lowman said. “But there was great hospitality and a packed house.”
With so many quick runs, one may wonder how Lowman is able to walk the razor’s edge of getting out and catching cleanly with a short rope and smart horse.
“Thankfully Shi-Biz has been handling rodeo pretty well,” Lowman said. “We did go to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, Sunday and she read my throw and I ear-topped the calf. When I watched my video Sarah Angelone jokingly said ‘Well, when you’re 1.5 everywhere, she’s going to read your throw.’”
Lowman’s August checks
Hits and misses are part of the rodeo road, but Lowman’s been consistently in the money throughout August, earning roughly $30,000.
Her month started at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo in Kansas, where she topped the second round with a 2.1-second time. From there she won the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene, Kansas, with a 1.6-second run worth $3,337.
“From Abilene I started hauling alone,” Lowman said. “My mom and niece came out to help me drive, since I wanted to hit some Indian Rodeos too. They were with me for two weeks, and then my grandad Ron Alex joined me, and he’s going to stick with me through the end of the year.”
In Baker, Montana, at the Fallon County Fair & Rodeo, Lowman placed in both rounds and finished No. 3 in the aggregate, totaling $6,526. At the Caldwell Night Rodeo in Idaho, Lowman won the first round with a 2.1-second run before breaking out in the second round. She caught another barrier at the Gooding Pro Rodeo in Idaho before continuing her run at the Cassia County Fair & Rodeo in Burley, Idaho, winning with a 2.0-second run.
That brought her to the Kitsap Stampede and the Golden Spike Rodeo where she cleaned house, earning a total of $8,981.
WPRA Playoff Series implications
The Kitsap Stampede and Golden Spike Rodeo are both part of the WPRA’s Playoff Series, which leads to Puyallup, Washington, and this year—the lucrative Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
With her most recent winnings Lowman moved from No. 5 to No. 4 in the Playoff Series standings with 821 points. The only ropers ahead of her are Shelby Boisjoli, Sarah Angelone and Taylor Munsell.
Lowman’s position guarantees her qualification to Puyallup (the top 24 ropers are invited to Puyallup). The top four ropers in Puyallup will be invited to Sioux Falls, where they will join the top eight in the Playoff Series standings (on the year). These 12 competitors will duke it out for more than $110,000 in winnings on the last weekend of the ProRodeo season.
When asked about the opportunities at the end of September with Puyallup and Sioux Falls, Lowman said that while the money is great and has the potential to change the world standings, she’s focused on the task at hand—which is the next rodeo.
“It’s about capitalizing on doing my job,” Lowman said. “I hardly ever talk to other ropers and get that far into [the future]. It’s good to talk about, but it psyches me out and gets me pumped up. I’ve got to be careful, because my mind starts going, ‘Well, this could happen, that could happen.’ Like Martha Angelone, she gives me all these possibilities. She has all the math in her head. But I just need to do my job and not force it too much.”
Perks of the hauling crew
As the end of the ProRodeo season draws closer, competitors must make tough decisions on where they’re going and who they’re going with.
“I’d been hauling with everybody,” Lowman said. “Mostly with Delany Kunau and the Angelones. It’s nice to haul [with other ropers] because then you’re rested. But when I’m with my family, we’re comfortable around each other and it’s all about you. I don’t have to worry about being too low or too high. Finishing the year with them was the plan all along.”
Grandad Ron even pushed her calf in Gooding, Idaho—a job he’d never done before but was more than happy to try.
Up next for Lowman is the Ellensburg Rodeo in Washington.
Special thanks to Top Hand Ropes for their commitment to ProRodeo coverage all season long.