Martha Angelone is making breakaway headlines as she works toward securing the 2022 WPRA breakaway roping world championship, but her younger sister Sarah boasts World Champion honors already.
Fresh off of clinching her WPRA all-around world championship in Waco, Texas, Sarah headed to Fort Worth for the $21,500-added Valley Vet Supply Cowgirl Gathering Breakaway Roping on Nov. 13, 2022.
Her hot streak from Waco continued at Cowtown Coliseum. The 23-year-old won second in the first round with a 2.2-second run and first in the third round. In the aggregate, she finished second behind sister Martha with a time of 7.33 seconds on three. All in all, Sarah pocketed $7,405 aboard Little Crimson Cat, a 2017 gelding she calls “Dingo.”
“He was just started when I bought him as a head horse,” Sarah said. “He ended up being a pretty nice breakaway horse, so I finished him off and started hauling him.”
Sarah prefers to stay close to home at jackpots and train horses instead of spending her days chasing ProRodeo dollars like her sister. She has nearly mastered the art of balancing her training days with competition days, evident in her success on her pair of 5-year-old breakaway and team roping horses used at the Cowgirl Gathering.
“When I’m riding younger horses I really try to remind myself to have patience and remember it is always a process and takes time,” Sarah said. “On my finished horses I have to remind myself to just go rope for me and trust that they will do their job.”
“It’s easy,” she continued. “[Martha and I] can nominate anything we go to and accumulate points. They also give us so many opportunities to rope for so much money. It’s amazing to see women get to rope for $60,000 for winning an event (at the WCRA’s Women’s Rodeo World Championship).”
The Angelone family knows firsthand what the WCRA can do for their careers. Martha won that $60,000 check at the WRWC in May 2022, and left the event with a totaled $70,900 while Sarah cheered her on.
And, though Sarah is well aware of the opportunities provided by the WCRA, she also knows there’s a learning curve that accompanies the association’s rules and structure.
“I think people struggle with understanding the process of nominating and knowing whether or not they are an Open competitor or Challenger,” Sarah said. “I have people ask me all the time about their classification.”
How the WCRA Works
Put simply, the WCRA is an association that is willing to partner with any other rodeo association in the world to help athletes nominate and earn points. Contestants can scroll through events listed on the site, or contact the WCRA to give information on an event they are attending so it can be added to the list and open for nominations. There’s a classification system based on the amount of money up for grabs, and certain events are worth more points than others. Contestants then pick their event segment (that means they select which WCRA event they want their earned points to count toward) and use the Virtual Rodeo Qualifier system to create a WCRA account. Based on their event classification, nominations can go from around $25 to a couple hundred dollars for large events (think Cheyenne Frontier Days) with loads of added money and multiple competition rounds.
One unique component of the Women’s Rodeo World Championship is that it segments athletes in team roping, breakaway and barrel racing into Open and Challenger pools. The classification is based on total career earnings and earnings within recent years, and the WCRA helps check on earnings to ensure that the pools stay fair and accurate.