Rodeo Diné
Navajo Nation Wins Big in San Antonio: Danielle Lowman Takes Title with 1.6-Second Run

Rodeo blood is running in the veins of Navajo Nation, and they showed out at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, garnering more than $67,000 between them.

Derrick Begay and Danielle Lowman led the pack of Native American rodeo athletes to more than $63,000 in earnings at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Derrick Begay and Danielle Lowman led the pack of Native American rodeo athletes to more than $67,000 in earnings at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Photos by Hailey Rae

With a winning 1.6-second in the short round, Danielle Lowman became a part of a group of Native American rodeo athletes that dominated the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

The breakaway ropers competed for equal added money in San Antonio of the first time, and when the dust settled Lowman had added $22,500 to her ledger.

Now, Lowman leads the World Standings with $49,909, more than $24,000 ahead of No. 2 Maddy Deerman.

Danielle’s San Antonio Experience

But Lowman’s journey to winning San Antonio wasn’t seamless. Coming off her first-ever win at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Lowman failed to advance to the Semifinals via her bracket. On Saturday, Feb. 24, she competed in the Wildcard Round where the fastest time went on to compete in the Short Go that night.

She watched fellow Native Derrick Begay and partner Colter Todd win the team roping in the Wildcard—giving her a little confidence boost ahead of her run.

“I grew up watching Derrick on the TV,” Lowman said. “I remember when he won The American, and I told myself I was going to be there someday. Now when I’m at rodeos, I love watching the team roping. I’ll always ride up there to watch.”

Lowman and mare Ruf N Shine, known as “Shi’Biz,” rocked the Wildcard with a 1.6-second run. Shi’Biz took the term “break to the pin” literally, scraping Lowman’s left foot on the calf chute as they sped past for their win.

Derrick Begay: “We’ve got a big fan base. You look at the little video clips they put on the Cowboy Channel, we got the most shares or the comments. When I see that I’m proud of it. I like to look at it, thinking, ‘Man, that’s cool. [Dani’s] got all these likes and all these shares. The comments, I go through them and most of the people are the Native Americans. I’m aware of the support we have, I’m proud of it and I like it.”

Fast forward to Saturday evening, and a $15,000 Champions paycheck was dangling in front of the breakaway ropers. Lowman was watching the team roping again when Begay and Todd roped in 3.8 seconds, bringing their San Antonio total to $22,250 each and winning the event.  

“I’m like ‘Holy shit, Derrick just won the freaking rodeo from the Wildcard,’” Lowman said. “I can do it.’ My belief in myself went up.”

Lowman’s short round calf was one that traveling partner Sarah Angelone had roped in 1.6 and 1.9 seconds, so the ladies knew he was a good one.

“I was a bit nervous, since Shi’Biz had almost taken my leg off in the Wildcard,” Lowman said. “But Shi’Biz lets me pull on her at the right time and be able to use my rope a little bit more. She’s been doing really well—she is such a queen.”

Lowman roped in 1.6 seconds for the second time on Saturday, sealing her second major winter rodeo win of the season.

Rodeo Diné

Begay and Lowman weren’t the only Native Americans representing in San Antonio—team ropers Erich Rogers, Aaron Tsinigine and Coleman Proctor competed with their respective partners (Tsinigine advancing to the finals) and bull rider JaCauy Hale won Semifinal Two with a 90.5-point ride on Cervi Rodeo’s Theodore.

“My nephew is JaCauly Hale,” Lowman said. “I watched him grow up on the Reservation and see his rodeo life unfold in front of me. It’s fun to see him tear it up in the bull riding. I love cheering him on.”

As the next generation of Native American rodeo athletes arrive, 2023 NFR Average Champion Begay reflected on going from the inspired cowboy to head inspirer.

“I’ve had role models growing up while trying to make a name for myself, so to make it where the tables turned, it’s a little bit uncomfortable,” Begay said. “There’s pressure there, but there’s also [the motivation] that I’m going to do the best job I can. Whether it’s helping somebody or just being an image to somebody and give them hope. The title of being a role model, I’m proud of it—that’s what I want. I’ll sign up for the job because somebody needs to.”

Next on the roster for the unofficial Navajo rodeo team is RodeoHouston, where Lowman is roping in Bracket One of the Super Series.

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