The 2022 Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo was held in Waco, Texas, Oct. 11–14, from which Martha Angelone and Madison Outhier emerged as the year-end and Finals champions, respectively. The two breakaway ropers will represent Texas at the NFR Open in 2023.
Texas Circuit Champion: Martha Angelone
Martha Angelone of Stephenville, Texas, became a three-time PRCA/WPRA Texas Circuit Champion after she finished the 2022 regular season with $23,033.23 in circuit earnings.
“Whenever I left for the summer, I was winning the circuit, but JJ [Hampton] came back for some of the rodeos, so she got ahead of me,” Angelone said. “When we came back from being out west, I split second at Amarillo and won Stephenville and ended up winning enough to go into the Circuit Finals to where I just had a place in a go-round or win a little bit of money.”
Angelone was 12.2 seconds in the first round, 3.5 in the second round, 2.9 in the third round, and 2.1 in the fourth round for first and $1,994. The four rounds earned her fourth in the average with a 20.7 on four head, worth $997.
“In the second round, JJ won second, and she moved back above me during the Circuit Finals,” Angelone said. “Going into the last round, I knew I needed to win the round or place in the average because I had a barrier, and I didn’t really think anybody was going to mess up that was ahead of me. I was fortunate enough that a couple of them did, so I ended up winning the circuit this year.”
During the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo, Angelone rode Gunna Shock Ya, known as “Jesse James,” a 7-year-old gelding owned by Tanner Green.
“Jesse handled it really well,” Angelone said.
As the first-ever NFR Open breakaway roping champion, Angelone is looking forward to returning in 2023 to defend her title.
“I’ve won the Texas Circuit the past two years, and this is our third now, so I wanted to repeat that again,” Angelone said. “It’s kind of cool being a three-time Texas Circuit champ and to get to go back to NFR Open, I mean that rodeo changed my whole year, so I want to be able to go back and defend my title there. I’m blessed that I get that opportunity.”
Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo Average Champion: Madison Outhier
Madison Outhier, of Fulshear, Texas, won the average title at the 2022 Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo with a time of 11.1 seconds on four head, earning $5,983 in total and qualifying for the NFR Open in 2023.
“I knew going in I didn’t really have a great chance at the year-end,” Outhier said. “The average was my main goal going into it; obviously, it’s a way to get into the NFR Open and so I was really hoping to do that. Last year, I kind of had a rough summer, didn’t do as well as I wanted to, didn’t get as high in the world standings as I wanted to. So, getting into the NFR Open this year is a huge opportunity for me because of the payout, of course, and counting for the standings, so I am super excited about that. It’s a big deal to me.”
Outhier was fourth in the first round with a 3.3, first in the second round with a 2.0, fourth in the third round with a 2.7, and fifth in the fourth round with a 3.1.
“I roped pretty great throughout the first three rounds, then I came into the fourth round with quite a lead,” she said. “I think I was like 1.3 seconds ahead of second.
“I had drawn kind of all over the place. My first calf was probably the slowest in the pen, and my fourth calf was definitely the strongest in the pen. I think that gives a lot of testament to my horse for being able to adapt and do well in all the different situations we got put in. I was pretty nervous going into the fourth round knowing I had such a strong calf. I was really wanting that average win, but it worked out.”
Outhier rode Allo Gallo Colonel, known as “Rooster,” the 14-year-old quarter horse the family raised that she has been riding since he was 5 years old. Together, Outhier and Rooster have won numerous titles, now including the average win.
“We’ve definitely grown together,” Outhier said. “He basically taught me how to rope, how to win. I’ve rode him through all of my successes, so he’s definitely a huge part of that.”
Looking forward to the 2023 season, Outhier has set some big goals for herself.
“One of my biggest goals is to definitely have a good winter at those building rodeos and get into the bigger rodeos over the summer, too, like Reno. Hopefully, I have a little easier summer than I did last year, set myself up a little better. Obviously, the end goal is to win the world or make the NFR and so I’m definitely going to keep going for that. I have kind of come up short the last two years. I feel like I’ve learned more going out there each year and I feel like this was a great start to my 2023 and, hopefully, to keep the ball rolling.”