Hanna Hundsdorfer clinched California’s Clovis Rodeo breakaway championship over a long score on April 30 after winning two of the four rounds and $6,805.
The winning check slid Hundsdorfer into the No. 1 spot in the California Circuit Standings—a title she won in 2022.
“It was a long score,” Hundsdorfer, 30, said of Clovis. “I knew that going in and I was practicing scoring my horse, CD, because he gets super strong. I usually don’t like to score the best because then you have to run [farther], but my horse did a great job.”
Hundsdorfer may have had a homefield advantage, since she’s from Visalia, California, which is about one hour from Clovis. Mounted on 16-year-old gelding “CD,” Hundsdorfer stopped the clock in 4.3, 3.0, 4.4, and 4.9 seconds in each round, respectively, for an aggregate of 16.6 seconds.
“My first calf, CD was good because I’d just gotten done scoring a bunch on him,” Hundsdorfer said. “He was standing in the box flat-footed and square. The more we rope, the more he gets bundled up and on the muscle. I felt him getting tight on the second calf in the slack because I was back-to-back: I was the last girl out and then I was the first girl out.”
Hundsdorfer made it work, scoring some calves on him between the two slack rounds and the performances. She also employs a trick of nodding for her calf as she’s backing into the box, making CD have to switch from “reverse” to “drive.”
CD is registered as CDs Royal Playboy, sired by CD Royal and out of a mare, Sassy Palygirl Ann, sired by none other than Freckles Playboy. Hundsdorfer says the gelding is honest, quick out of the box and loves his job.
The 2023 season marks Hundsdorfer’s third year of rodeoing professionally after (mostly) hanging it up after her 2013 graduation from Feather River College, where she competed on the rodeo team.
“After college, I sold everything except for a few young ones because breakaway was done for me,” Hundsdorfer explained. “You were lucky if you could find one jackpot in my area.”
Now, she’s focused on building her string of breakaway horses and knowledge of the setups on the Calfornia circuit. When she’s at home, Hundsdorfer gives roping lessons and PEMF treatments to fund her rodeo dreams.