JJ Hampton has waited her entire career for the opportunities of 2021.
There's no woman in the entirety of the breakaway roping world standings who has entered more rodeos than the 18-time Women's Professional Rodeo Association World Champion.
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By mid-August, the wily veteran had entered 51 rodeos, four more than anyone else in the WPRA and five more than anyone else in the top 15. She sits third in the world with $31,073.47 won and she picked up the Silver Spurs for winning the iconic Reno Rodeo in June.
"It’s the way I am," Hampton, 50, of Stephenville, Texas, said. "I want to enter as many rodeos as I can. If I’m going to be gone away from home away from my kid, I want to be roping. I don’t want to be sitting on my butt. If I’m out here I don’t want to be still."
Hampton is just $5,125.08 behind standings' leader Shelby Boisjoli, who has $36,198.55 won over 44 rodeos.
"My goal is to win every rodeo," Hampton said. "Whatever happens at the end of that, that’s it. I’m trying to win every sumbitch I go to. I’m worried about winning the rodeo I’m going to today. I just go to every rodeo I can."
JJ Hampton has long been admired by fellow competitors, but her grit is shining through more and more in 2021.
"You cannot out-rodeo JJ Hampton," reigning WPRA World Champion Jackie Crawford laughed. "If they're having breakaway, she's there and she's throwing."
Making Rodeo Work
Hampton owns JJ Hampton Realty in Stephenville, so she is able to work from the road, helping to make her time on the trail possible.
With all her rodeo entries, Hampton had to miss out when her 12-year-old son Kason won a spot in the Vegas Tuffest earlier this month.
"I flew home once this summer, and we went on a Disney cruise," Hampton said. "But I got back to Texas and I flew to Utah. I’ve worked a long time to be able to rodeo. My son is real supportive of me. That makes it a little easier."
Hampton is making her time on the road doubly worth it in nominating rodeos for the $750,000 World Champions Rodeo Alliance's Women's Rodeo World Championships Oct. 26-29 in Las Vegas.
"I've already got a win-and-you're-in spot," Hampton said. "But I'm still nominating, and I just nominated Baker, Montana, this week."
After entering 51 rodeos this summer, Hampton realized she needed a tune-up in mid-August.
"The last few rodeos, I missed several in a row," Hampton said. "Shelli Scrivner messaged me that I could come to her house and rope if I needed. I roped before the slack last night at Caldwell, and I went back to fix my horse this morning. She wasn’t taking my throw away, but she wasn’t helping me. I roped and kicked her out of her stop. I roped every calf, kicked her up, and loped behind the calf and let her ease to a stop. It was amazing how much better my loop was. It took me all these runs to figure out that’s what was going on. I missed a lot of calves for a lot of money in the last couple weeks." TRJ