Josie Conner has been consistent on the ProRodeo trail all season long—but that should come as no surprise, because Conner has been a massive force in breakaway roping since her early teens.
The 18-year-old has already gathered $23,906.85 in 2022, putting her No. 1 in the Resistol Rookie standings as of June 28 by a $12,000 margin. Conner is also seated in the No. 12 position in the WPRA World Standings.
Conner has been a topic of conversation since her early days in the roping pen, garnering attention for her horsemanship and ability to rope quickly and consistently. However, Conner isn’t the junior rodeo star roping head and shoulders above the competition—she’s competing against the best breakaway ropers in the world on the daily. She chose to hit the road with her favorite helpers—Mom, Wendi, and Dad, Jade, —and her two horses, Dutch and Tonka, rather than buddying with a load of other breakaway ropers in multiple rigs criss-crossing the country.
Conner has had to learn as she goes, and along the way she has found some handy tricks for staying on top of rodeo scheduling and entries.
“On the website, the WPRA website listings can be a little chaotic,” Conner said. “I have a little notebook and I write down the date, money added, when slack is, for every rodeo in each time period. Then, I take a picture of it and send it to my dad.”
Once the rodeos are written down, it’s time for strategy planning for Conner and her father.
“If it’s complex, we’ll write down a couple different driving strategies, if it’s not we just keep it in our heads,” Conner explained. “Then, I have another notepad where I have everything I’m going to enter if I draw up everywhere I want. I write another option in case I get drawn out somewhere or don’t get the right days. Entering has been the hardest part of this, just trying to get it all taken care of. We’ve got it under control now.”
Josie’s parents worked to teach smart financial skills and a sense of professionalism into Josie from a young age.
Conner doesn’t just stop at one little notebook—she’s making sure to keep track of everything when it comes to rodeos and traveling.
“Doing what we do, it’s so important to keep track of your money,” Conner said. “I have every entry fee from all year—not just ProRodeos, everything I enter–written down. All my winnings are on a page. Then I have a separate page on the PRCA/WPRA rodeos so I can keep track of those entry fees and how many I go to. I have an entire binder. Recently I started keeping all my fuel receipts also. I know you get them digitally, like on your credit card, but I have been trying to keep paper receipts. My mom stays on top of taxes and stuff, so that’s one way I can make it easier on her. She’s been teaching me how to keep track of things and do my taxes, since I’m legally an adult now.”
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Conner hasn’t been feeling intimidated on the rodeo road. From WCRA events to The American Rodeo, to high school and youth events, Conner feels that her career up to this point has prepared her well for her transition to ProRodeos, but she hasn’t changed up her game plan just because of the sanctioning.
“Everywhere I’ve entered has helped prepare me for this year,” Conner said. “But I don’t want people to look at it and think that there’s so much pressure, that things are so much different out here because of the association. Really, I’m roping against the same girls I roped against in Texas, they’re just in different places. You just have to rope your game and have the confidence you’re good enough.”
As of June 28, 2022
|1||Josie Conner||Iowa, LA||$23,906.85|
|2||Addie Weil||Edna, KS||$11,848.22|
|3||Bryana Lehrmann||Lexington, TX||$9,658.04|
|4||Gianna Cianfichi||Santa Rosa, CA||$9,519.07|
|5||Hali Williams||Comanche, TX||$8,840.35|
|6||Lauren Hopkins||Lipan, TX||$8,480.35|
|7||Paige Stout||Decatur, TX||$6,639.26|
|8||Fallon Ruffoni||Arroyo Grande, CA||$6,600.21|
|9||Cheyenne Blackmore||Hillside, AZ||$5,481.91|
|10||Halle Tatham||Pryor, OK||$5,324.32|