JJ Hampton, Shelby Boisjoli and Kelsie Chace brought the heat with 1.9-second winning breakaway runs at the 2021 Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which ran from May 31–June 5, and paid out $3,163 to each.
“They probably rope faster than me,” said Hampton, an 18-time WPRA World Champion, “but I think can go farther than they can and be fast because I get such good separation. They seem to rope on the gain, and I rope when my horse rates. It’s just different. They get their rope up a little faster and I hold the saddle horn. For an old lady that holds the saddle horn, to stay hooked with these young kids is pretty good.”
Hampton, a 2020 National Finals of Breakaway Roping qualifier who was also celebrating her 50th birthday, made her 1.9-second run first, setting the bar for everyone who followed.
“As you get older, you always wonder, ‘Do you still have it? Where are you at?’ I hadn’t been doing very good. I needed that before we start all this to re-show myself that I can go do it.”
After a slow start to the season, Hampton made a big leap from 44th in the standings to 11th with $6,227.79 in season earnings.
“I hadn’t done very good at the ProRodeos and it’s been slow for me,” she said. “Once I get to going to a lot of rodeos, I can kind of get tapped off a little bit. I’m hoping that that continues. For me to get the win at, so far, one of our biggest rodeos, I’m pretty pumped about it. The money is great and I’m not saying it isn’t, but confidence-wise, that’s what I need. I needed those runs because I haven’t had good runs in a minute. Confidence—that’s worth more than the money, I think, because that’s going to pay off better in the long run.”
Boisjoli, also a 2020 NFBR qualifier, was a few girls behind Hampton in the slack on Tuesday and knew she was in the company of talent.
“JJ can really reach, and she has a lot of range,” she said. “Her style allows her to be fast on the setups that aren’t necessarily meant to be fast. I feel like Kelsie can literally do anything. She has range. She’s literally great on every setup.
“I remember watching JJ’s run,” she continued. “I thought, ‘Man, that’s going to win the rodeo.’ I had seen the start and tried to start my first swing with my horse’s stride and use my horse’s momentum to throw.”
Boisjoli is now No.1 in the WPRA Breakaway World Standings with $9,989.45 in season earnings.
“It’s really nice to have right now, starting the summer run,” Boisjoli said of the win. “It put me in the No. 1 position in the standings, so it’s nice to leave for the summer with a little bit of cushion. I honestly don’t love the No. 1 position. I like to be chasing and have something to work towards, so I have to tell myself to keep chasing now.”
Eight-time WPRA World Champion Chace roped in the second to last performance and knew she needed to throw her rope quick to pull a check.
“That almost simplifies it a little bit to be like, ‘Hey, I have to be this fast, no matter what. I have to try it and if I don’t try it, I’m going to be too slow anyways,’” she said. “I don’t want to say that makes it easier, but sometimes, it does make it easier because, at the beginning, you don’t know exactly how fast you’re going to have to be. Yes, we try to be as fast as we want to every single time, but there’s also some points where we say, ‘Hey, I know I can do this and still pull a check.’ I knew we were going to have to be fast, period.”
Chace is currently fourth in the standings with $9,510.03 in season earnings and is in pursuit of qualifying for the 2021 National Finals of Breakaway Roping after coming up short in 2020.
“I told myself this year that I really wanted to focus on trying to hit the start and make the best run that I can,” Chace said. “I know that sounds simple and it sounds like that’s what the name of the game is, but I also try to remind myself that they pay more than first place. Sometimes, I don’t have to max out every time and just do my job. If I draw good enough, I’m going to get some money. If they draw me out of it, I can’t control that. I’m going to focus on what I can control and go from there.”
Chace maxed out on her 15-year-old gelding, Little Man, who helped her get a quick start and get her rope broke off fast to stop the clock in 1.9 seconds.
“He’s the only one I have right now,” Chace said. “He’s my main go-to. Any chance that I get to ride him, I’m going to. He’s good in about any setup. My horse is so fast across the line, so I have a good shot. Sometimes that can be hard, too. If you have too soft of a calf, then you get there too soon. I just drew good. As fast as it got, not everyone could be a 1.9 with the calves that they drew. That was definitely helpful because, if you put all three of our videos side-by-side, they’re all pretty different.”
Boisjoli, who usually rides a 10-year-old back mare named Root Beer who was recently diagnosed with kissing spine, is now seasoning a 6-year-old mare named Onna.
“This is her first year out rodeoing,” Boisjoli said. “Onna really is the better horse in some ways. She stops harder and has a lot more run than Root Beer. It worked out perfect in a way—not that my horse got kissing spine, but Root Beer had to get a couple months off and it was perfect timing for me to get on Onna so she could get her chance to prove herself. She’s done good.”
Hampton was riding Millie, a 14-year-old bay mare, who scores sharp and runs hard.
“Millie is really fast,” Hampton said. “I had some treatments done on her and I think she is stopping straighter and harder.”
With her horse feeling good and her confidence restored, Hampton is keen to discover more opportunities on the rodeo road.
“I love to rodeo and I love to compete,” she said. “The more I do, the better I do. I’m looking forward to different scenery and going to rodeos that I’ve never gone to. I’m just going to enjoy this while I can.”
Old Fort Days Rodeo
Fort Smith, Arkansas, May 31–June 5
1/2/3. JJ Hampton, 1.9-second run, worth $3,163 each
1/2/3. Kelsie Chace, 1.9-second run, worth $3,163 each
1/2/3. Shelby Boisjoli, 1.9-second run, worth $3,163 each
4/5/6/7. Bailie Smith, 2.0-second run, worth $1,404 each
4/5/6/7. Alex Loiselle, 2.0-second run, worth $1,404 each
4/5/6/7. Tierra Zapalac, 2.0-second run, worth $1,404 each
4/5/6/7. Makayla Boisjoli, 2.0-second run, worth $1,404 each
8/9/10. Taylor Munsell, 2.1-second run, worth $775 each
8/9/10. Cassidy Boggs, 2.1-second run, worth $775 each
8/9/10. Cali Griffin, 2.1-second run, worth $775 each
11/12/13/14. Bradi Good, 2.2-second run, worth $436 each
11/12/13/14. Jordi Edens, 2.2-second run, worth $436 each
11/12/13/14. Sequin Brewer, 2.2-second run, worth $436 each
11/12/13/14. Amber Coleman, 2.2-second run, worth $436 each
15/16/17. Bailey Gubert, 2.3-second run, worth $65 each
15/16/17. Hannah Lee, 2.3-second run, worth $65 each
15/16/17. Brandi McDowell, 2.3-second run, worth $65 each.
Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo
Elizabeth, Colorado, June 5–6
1. Peggy German, 2.3-second run, worth $1,734
2/3. Jennifer Casey, 2.4-second run, worth $1,395
2/3. Hope Thompson, 2.4-second run, worth $1,395
4/5. Taylor Munsell, 2.6-second run, worth $942
4/5. Lari Dee Guy, 2.6-second run, worth $942
6. Dara Belew, 2.7-second run, worth $603
7/8. Jenna Hays, 3.0-second run, worth $264
7/8. Hope Lutrell, 3.0-second run, worth $264
The Kingman Andy Devine PRCA Rodeo
Kingman Arizona, June 5–6
1. Maddy Deerman, 3.0-second run, worth $1,199
2. Cheyenne Blackmore, 3.3-second run, worth $993
3/4. Bailey Bates, 3.5-second run, worth $682
3/4. Tonia Forsberg, 3.5-second run, worth $682 each
5. Leigh Ann Billingsley, 4.0-second run, worth $372
6. Mary Ann Miller, 4.1-second run, worth $207.
Mesquite Championship Rodeo
Mesquite, Texas, June 5
1. Kayelen Helton, 2.4-second run, worth $1,390
2. Krista Wilson, 2.5-second run, worth $1,151 each
3/4. Amber Crawford, 2.7-second run, worth $791
3/4. Madison Outhier, 2.7-second run, worth $791
5/6/7. Tacy Webb, 2.9-second run, worth $224
5/6/7. Rebekah Davis, 2.9-second run, worth $224
5/6/7. McKenzie Wansing, 2.9-second run, worth $224.
Goshen, Conneticut, June 6
1. Taylor Feldeisen, 2.7-second run, worth $729
2. Tara Gale, 2.9-second run, worth $547
3. Emily Fabian, 3.0-second run, worth $365
4. Kasey Kostraba, 3.7-second run, worth $182.
Hugo Pro Rodeo
Hugo, Oklahoma, June 4–5
1. Brighton Bauman, 1.8-second run, worth $2,389
2/3. Danielle Lowman, 1.9-second run, worth $1,877
2/3. Martha Angelone, 1.9-second run, worth $1,877
4. Loni Lester, 2.0-second run, worth $1,479
5. Jordan Jo Fabrizio, 2.1-second run, worth $1,137
6/7/8. Makayla Boisjoli, 2.2-second run, worth $682
6/7/8. Taylor Munsell, 2.2-second run, worth $682
6/7/8. Shelby Boisjoli, 2.2-second run, worth $682
9/10/11. Josey Murphy, 2.3-second run, worth $190
9/10/11. Nicole Baggarley, 2.3-second run, worth $190
9/10/11. Tacy Webb, 2.3-second run, worth $190
Durant Pro Rodeo
Durant, Oklahoma, June 4–5
1/2. Madison Outhier, 1.8-second run, worth $2,438
1/2. Bailey Gubert, 1.8-second run, worth $2,438
3/4. Loni Lester, 1.9-second run, worth $1,713
3/4. JJ Hampton, 1.9-second run, worth $1,713
5/6/7/8. Shelby Boisjoli, 2.0-second run, worth $857
5/6/7/8. Taylor Munsell, 2.0-second run, worth $857
5/6/7/8. Hope Thompson, 2.0-second run, worth $857
5/6/7/8. Jordan Jo Fabrizio, 2.0-second run, worth $857
9. Laramie Johnson, 2.1-second run, worth $461
10. Taylor Hanchey, 2.2-second run, worth $395
11. Emma Charleston, 2.3-second run, worth $329
12/13. Winter Williams, 2.4-second run, worth $132
12/13. Shai Schaefer, 2.4-second run, worth $132.
Fort Herriman PRCA Rodeo
Herriman, Utah, June 4–5
1/2/3/4. Bailey Kieckbusch, 2.8-second run, worth $1,690
1/2/3/4. Raelynn Wakley, 2.8-second run, worth $1,690
1/2/3/4. Zoie Bedke, 2.8-second run, worth $1,690
1/2/3/4. Suzanne Williams, 2.8-second run, worth $1,690
5. Jennifer Casey, 3.0-second run, worth $1,005
6/7/8. Addy Haviland, 3.1-second run, worth $457
6/7/8. Codi Anne Judkins, 3.1-second run, worth $457
6/7/8. Kori Wakley, 3.1-second run, worth $457.
146th Silver Spurs Rodeo
Kissimmee, Florida, June 4–5
1/2. Taylor A Smith, 2.6-second run, worth $349
1/2. Makayla Mack, 2.6-second run, worth $349
3. Traci Ashton, 2.70, $199
4. Addison Roberts, 3.60, $100.