Abby Hampton had to pull off a shot in the short round to beat one of her idols—WPRA World Champion Lari Dee Guy—on the Wildfire's Rope Like A Girl Breakaway's walking fresh calves. It was a position she said she's been in before and one in which failed to capitalize. But this time, the college student from Texas A&M—Commerce didn't falter and stopped the clock in 3.68, enough to put her at 15.45 seconds on four head in the average and best Guy's 16.01 on four for the win and $5,000.
"This was a big accomplishment because I took a shot tonight in the short round that I usually wouldn't take," Hampton, who beat out 46 other top ropers for the title, said. "I also didn't psych myself out. I came back high call at the Montana's Richest Breakaway and let them out too far and it cost me some money."
Hampton rode a mare she calls Snooki, a horse she's had for five years and almost sold twice before notching the biggest win of her career at the Wildfire.
Originally from Coalinga, California, Hampton said she often roped walking fresh calves on the long scores home in the Golden State.
"When they're walking fresh you want to make sure you're scoring sharp and letting them leave there first," Hampton, a criminal justice major, said. "You want to be really watching where they're going to go. It was a good roping overall."
But she rarely got to back into the box with breakaway roping legends—Jackie Crawford at third call back and Guy at second—back home.
"It's crazy with your idols being right behind you," Hampton added. "It's a for sure great thing. I've been great friends with them and they've helped me since I've moved back here. It's great roping with your idols in this big of a roping."
Hampton said she will likely spend the rest of her life in the Lone Star State, and she's beginning to get more into team roping, too.
"I've pretty much decided that I'm going to live here my whole life." TRJ
1. Abby Hampton, 15.45 seconds on four head, $5,000
2. Lari Dee Guy, 16.01 seconds on four head, $3,500
3. Shelby Whitney, 17.43 seconds on four head, $2,700
4. Jordan Jo Fabrizio, 18.45 seconds on four head, $2,000
5. Cadee Williams, 19.30 seconds on four head, $950
SHORT GO FAST TIME
1. Lari Dee Guy, 3.63, $750
2. Abby Hampton. 3.68, $500
1. Rylie Smith, 2.87, $750
2. Shelby Whitney, 3.3, $500
1. Kylie Conner, 3.03, $750
2. JJ Hampton, 3.33, $500
1. Kelsi Chase, 2.33, $750
2. Katie Rice, 2.91, $500