Arizona’s Danielle “Dani” Lowman stretched the barrier rope to clock a 1.61-second time in Round 1 of the Women’s Rodeo World Championship Thursday, May 18—and that’s just the start of the breakaway roping excitement at the 2023 WRWC.
The time boosted Lowman to the top of the WRWC Pro leaderboard. She earned $2,500 for her efforts and locked up a qualification to the Semifinals on Friday night at 7:30 p.m..
“I heard my calf was a plus from Taylor Hanchey, so I knew what I wanted to do was follow it and go for it,” Lowman, 30, said. “When it left and I hit the barrier, I knew I was close. I thought, “All I have to do is rope.'”
“She’s had two weeks off and I brought her back for this,” Lowman said of her horse. “She did great.”
In the rest of the field, No. 2 finisher, 2022 Resistol Rookie of the Year and NFBR qualifier Josie Conner, who was already seeded into the Semifinals thanks to her No. 2 position entering the event on the Virtual Rodeo Qualifier leaderboard, posted a slick 2.01-second run that was good enough for $1,000. Jordan Hollabaugh, who finished No. 3 will also advance. She earned $500 for her 2.39.
WRWC Round 1 Professional Results
|3||Jordan Jo Hollabaugh||2.39||$500|
In the WRWC Challenger race, No. 1 seeded Rylie Romero continued her momentum with a time of 2.51 seconds, winning Round 1. The 15-year-old from Welsh, Louisiana, drew a calf she wasn’t initially familiar with but, with the help of friends, they decided it was an A+.
“Tonight, I was nervous,” Romero said. “I knew the pressure was on, but I knew my horse felt good, and I knew what needed to be done.”
To do so, she employed her horse, “Buster.”
“Buster was so good in the back,” Romero offered. “Cowtown is a tough place to warm up; there is not a lot of room. Thankfully, I can rely on him to take care of me. When we walked in the box, I was ready and so was Buster.”
Romero was already No. 1 on the VRQ leaderboard, but her $2,500 win should give the teenager a confidence boost going into the next rounds of competition. Behind her, Bucki Shephard will advance for her 2.66-second run, worth $1,000.
Kinlee Brennise was already seeded through to the Semifinals, but she added $500 to her WCRA earnings with her 2.68. The door busted open for No. 4 finisher, Tori Murdock, who will advance with her 2.78.
Friday’s 10 a.m. second round of competition will determine which cowgirls take up the eight aggregate placings that will advance. The top two in that round will also automatically come back to rope in the Semifinals.
WRWC Round One Challenger Results