Watch out for Wylie
Meet Triple Threat Youth Wylie Jo Hodges

Youth Wylie Jo Hodges is thriving in the barrel pen, competing in the Pro division of the 2024 WRWC. But Hodges has other goals she's working towards in breakaway and team roping, too.

Wylie Jo Hodges and "Vegas" break the rope off during Round 2 of the 2024 Women’s Rodeo World Championships.
Wylie Jo Hodges and "Vegas" break the rope off during Round 2 of the 2024 Women’s Rodeo World Championships. Photo by: Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

Wylie Jo Hodges pulled triple duty at the 2024 Women’s Rodeo World Championships, competing in the Challenger Division in the breakaway and heeling and the Pro Division in the barrel racing.

For the 15-year-old from Bloomburg, Texas, competing in a slew of events is a way of life. Backed by her grandparents powerful breeding program “Hodges Farm,” the high schooler has a decade of competition experience under her belt.

“I started competing when I was 5 and I’ve been going ever since,” Hodges said. “I started in barrels and goat tying when I was 6, and started breakaway roping when I was 7. I also compete in poles and rope both ends in the team roping.”

The Breakaway Roping Journal caught up to Hodges following her diverse WRWC, where she earned $1,000 in the breakaway for a go-round and average placing.

BRJ: What do you like about the WRWC?

Hodges: “They really try to make it special, and it’s a neat experience because you get to go out there with all the pro ladies. My favorite breakaway run was in Round 1; my mare worked really well and we were 2.57 seconds.”

You said your two favorite events were breakaway and barrels, how do those events play off each other?

“The horsemanship aspect definitely applies in both. There are a lot of good breakaway ropers so my horsemanship is important. I’ve been working with colts in both the breakaway and the barrels. I trained ponies when I was little and now I am training futurity prospects.”

As a competitor, what are some of the things you’ve improved most upon in the last few years?

“My mental game. I’m getting to where I’m not so nervous in the box or the alleyway. I used to tell myself, ‘Don’t be nervous,’ But I feel like that makes me think about it more. Now I just say, ‘Yeah, I’m nervous, but it’s O.K.’ I feel like my riding has gotten better too—I’ve learned a lot from my dad, he helps me a lot and my parents haul me everywhere.”

Let’s talk about your main barrel horse.

“My main barrel horse is Jules. My grandparents raised her and Janna Beam Brown trained her on the barrels. Hailey Kinsel had her for a year-and-a-half, and then we got her. She’s a great horse because she loves her job.”

Wylie Jo Hodges and "Jules" round turn two at the Women's Rodeo World Championship.
Wylie Jo Hodges and “Jules” round turn two at the Women’s Rodeo World Championship. Photo courtesy Hodges

And your main breakaway horse?

“Her name is Vegas, and she’s 6. My grandparents raised her too. My brother was tie-down roping off of her a little, and now she’s [with me] and we’re going to some bigger stuff and getting seasoned. She’s very strong coming out of the box, she likes her job and she’s always anticipating it. The WRWC was her first run back too—she had fractured her splint bone in her left hind leg. She’s been off since October and this was her first run back.”

What about breakaway is fun to you?

“It’s fast and furious. You get to go out there and give it your all. You can’t really think out there, you kind of just got to go for it.”

What are some of the things you’re working towards?

“In barrels I’m trying to keep my hands down more. I hit a barrel at WRWC on Jules because I picked my hands up and she turned; which she’s supposed to do. In the breakaway it’s the same thing—use my legs more.”

Next up for Hodges is the Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals in Abilene June 6-15, 2024, where she’s competing in breakaway roping.

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