Current Top 15 Breakaway Ropers Have Won $851,536 in 2022

WPRA Breakaway Roper Payout has risen 61% from 2021 to 2022, with some 315 rodeos so far adding breakaway roping.

Martha Angelone Cheyenne Frontier Days
Martha Angelone | Photo by Bobby Rosales

ProRodeo’s top 15 breakaway ropers have won $851,536 as of September 6, 2022—already 61% more than the top 15 entered the Finals with in 2021.

The top 15 ladies in the world standings had $527,096 won as of the start of the 2021 National Finals of Breakaway Roping in Las Vegas, with then-standings-leader Shelby Boisjoli entering the event with $52,485.90. Current world-standings leader Martha Angelone has $97,916.42 with three weeks left in the season, including the big money at Puyallup’s Cinch Tour Finale.

“It’s been amazing that all the committees added it this year,” Angelone said. “It means a lot to all of us what these committees have been doing.”

2021 National Finals of Breakaway Roping Grand Entry
Breakaway roping’s top 15 earned 56% less by the end of the regular season than the top 15 have to this point in 2022. | Jamie Arviso Photo

For perspective, the 2021 World Champion Sawyer Gilbert won $71,654 to claim her gold buckle last year, with $19,532 coming at the NFBR held at The Orleans during the NFR.

“The girls rope well, and there’s a lot of girls who rope well,” Lynn Smith, WPRA roping director said. “They’ve conducted themselves in a good way, and the committees are happy to have them. As long as we stay gracious guests, they’re happy to have us.”

“It’s so exciting how many rodeos have stepped up and are adding breakaway this year,” WPRA President Jimmie Munroe said. “I think we’re going to hit 350 rodeos with breakaway roping this year.”

World Standingsas of Sept. 7, 2022Total EarningsRodeo Count
1Martha AngeloneStephenville, TX$102,419.84 87
2Erin JohnsonFowler, CO$69,130.68 60
3Taylor HancheyCarmine, TX$63,411.51 75
4Lari Dee GuyAbilene, TX$62,667.74 78
5Taylor MunsellAlva, OK$61,930.91 79
6Shelby BoisjoliStephenville, TX$58,282.41 71
7Joey WilliamsVolborg, MT$55,732.18 52
8Rickie EngesserSpearfish, SD$54,723.63 46
9Cadee WilliamsWeatherford, TX$53,114.44 56
10Samantha FultonMiller, SD$47,923.97 78
11Cheyanne GuilloryGainesville, TX$46,459.81 82
12J J HamptonStephenville, TX$46,206.36 83
13Jordi EdensGatesville, TX$43,643.35 67
14Danielle LowmanGilbert, AZ$43,125.04 72
15Beau PetersonCouncil Grove, KS$42,764.24 60
TOTALS$851,536.11 1046

This is the first year RodeoHouston, Spanish Fork, Utah, Gooding, Idaho and Hermiston, Oregon, paid equal money in the breakaway roping. But other biggies like Cheyenne, Wyoming and Fort Worth, Texas already paid well in 2021. The lions share of the increase came from the small and medium-sized committees ponying up sponsor dollars.

“I’m trying to have better contact with the committees,” Smith said. “We have spokeswomen in each circuit, too, who can help committees figure out how to add breakaway and answer member questions to keep things running smoother, and to help the permit girls, too. We’re trying to get more roping directors on the board of the WPRA, so this position isn’t covering the whole United States to be of better service to the members. I send ‘Thank you’ emails to every rodeo that has us, and see if there’s anything we can do to keep them happy with us. I write letters to the rodeos who haven’t had us, too. Not everybody loves breakaway, and we know that. But we want to continue to open up opportunities.”

What’s more, Beau Peterson is currently 15th in the WPRA’s ProRodeo Breakaway World Standings with $42,764.24—a sum that would have put her third in the 2021 standings entering last year’s NFBR.

“If you think of last year, we were like jackpot team ropers swapping money,” Smith said. “But now for decent money on an entry fee, you can win a lot. We’ve been thrilled with all the good rodeos.”

So far this year, the top 15 have entered a total of ProRodeos 1046 rodeos, compared to the 930 that the 2021 top 15 went to all season. With no rodeo limit like the sport’s other events, standings leader Angelone has been to 87 rodeos, while the top 15 average 70 rodeos a piece so far.

That means the top 15 have averaged $814.09 to each entry fee, compared to the $566.77 in 2021.

“I think over time there will be a rodeo count,” Smith said. “But we’re still in the stage of growing. So I’ve highly discouraged talk of rodeo count. Say there’s a $1,500-added rodeo that Josie Conner or J.J. Hampton can get to on the way to somewhere bigger, we want them to go to those smaller rodeos, too. If they had a rodeo count, those smaller communities would miss out on seeing those women compete. We need to get our event grown.”

Chase-domer Goes From Wild Card To Winner At 2022 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
Kelsie Domer won the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and bowed out of the regular season in May to have her daughter in August. She said then if it took more than the $42,000 she had won to be inside the top 15, that would be a big win for breakaway roping as a whole. As of September 6, 2022, Domer is 17th. | James Phifer Photo

The bad news? Diesel fuel average $3.34 in July 2021, compared to $5.49 in July 2022‚ a 64% rise in cost, offsetting their earnings dramatically.

“These gas prices suck,” Angelone said. “I put anywhere between $500 to $1,500 in the truck every week.”

Comparably, the top 15 tie-down ropers—with their 75 rodeo limit—have already won $1,865,494. If the season ended today and they all went to 75 rodeos, the calf ropers would average $1,658 per rodeo—about twice that of the breakaway ropers.

“A lot of the committees that I’ve been in touch with have plans to make it equal,” Smith said. “Each year, the committees I talk to are looking to add more. They’re trying to get the same number of head for the same money, eventually. This is two or three years out. All that still, at the scheme of things, is amazing progress. The steer trippers are going few places for a little money, so for us to think we have entitlement to any of this at ProRodeos—we just have to look at the bigger picture of things. But Martha has $100,000 before the last month of the season kicks off. Look how far we’ve come.”

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