Central Pennsylvania native Kamie Landolfi put her name in the mix of some of the country’s most notable ropers at in Woodward, Oklahoma, where her 2.2-second run earned her $4,531. Landolfi wasn’t in Resistol Rookie race conversations until she rocketed herself to the No. 10 position with $5,227.03 in earnings.
“I knew there was good money added, but I didn’t know it would pay like that,” Landolfi . “I had a game plan, watched the calves—I knew I had a good one—stuck to the game plan and it worked out. That was a cool rodeo, for sure.”
Although this 22-year-old Landolfi may be a new name on the ProRodeo breakaway scene, northeastern rodeo athletes know the surname well. The young pro comes from a long line of talented ropers and barrel racers and grew up competing on “Chopper,” a horse that first carried Landolfi’s older sister, Kelsey King, to the collegiate level. He later took Landolfi to the National High School Finals Rodeo numerous times and to many amateur rodeo wins.
Landolfi headed to Oklahoma to compete at the collegiate level while pursuing a degree in nursing. Going to nursing school amid the COVID-19 pandemic made pursuing both of her passions a struggle, and Landolfi had to fight through college to keep up with the financial and physical demands of the infamous Central Plains 2021 season, in which contestants had to compete in college rodeos back-to-back for nine consecutive weekends. After graduation, Landolfi sold off her younger string of horses to help get her finances on track and pulled a familiar friend out of the pasture.
“I brought him out of retirement, and he might hate me,” Landolfi said of Chopper, laughing. “But I think he was getting bored, just eating hay in the field at my parents’ house. He’s not the prettiest to watch, but he gives me the same run every time. I’m grateful to have him.”
While Chopper helped keep her rodeo dreams alive, Landolfi’s nursing career helps her keep the sport of breakaway in perspective.
“As much money as there is to win in breakaway, it’s still what we do for fun,” said Landolfi, who is now employed as a registered nurse at a Denison, Texas, emergency room. “Working in nursing helps me see that there’s more to life. I see people struggle everyday—with sickness themselves, or family members passing—it makes you realize how blessed we are to wake up every day and have the opportunity to compete when a lot of people don’t have the chance. When you look at it that way, it really changes your perspective.”
Landolfi works night shifts and is grateful that she can set her schedule up to allow for traveling to some rodeos. After only purchasing and filling her WPRA permit this winter, she isn’t sure what her 2022 season has in store. She will be focusing her efforts on qualifying for the Prairie Circuit Finals in the fall and saving up to bring along a backup behind Chopper.
For now, she’s taking her win, staying grateful and using it as a reminder of the support that her sister, parents, extended family and friends have given her up to this point.
“It’s crazy how one rodeo can turn things around for you,” Landolfi said. “It’s just a blessing to be able to compete. These are my God-given abilities, and this is the opportunity that He has given me to glorify Him. I’m just trying to go out and enjoy it every time.”
WPRA Resistol Rookie Standings
|1||Josie Conner||Iowa, LA||$17,125.76||26|
|2||Gianna Cianfichi||Santa Rosa, CA||$9,519.07||15|
|3||Addie Weil||Edna, KS||$9,366.62||16|
|4||Hali Williams||Comanche, TX||$8,840.35||11|
|5||Bryana Lehrmann||Lexington, TX||$7,338.60||32|
|6||Lauren Hopkins||Lipan, TX||$7,151.48||23|
|7||Paige Stout||Decatur, TX||$6,639.26||24|
|8||Fallon Ruffoni||Arroyo Grande, CA||$6,040.91||8|
|9||Halle Tatham||Pryor, OK||$5,324.32||8|
|10||Kamie Landolfi||Coleman, OK||$5,227.03||12|
|11||Kendyl Hutton||Sperry, OK||$3,816.40||8|
|12||Cheyenne Blackmore||Hillside, AZ||$3,363.15||10|
|13||Delaney Kunau||Declo, ID||$3,192.85||2|
|14||Brittany White||Jordan Valley, OR||$2,760.96||4|
|15||KeAnn Hayes||Blanchard, OK||$2,604.74||8|