The WPRA has had many remarkable leaders over the years, but rarely a director that bridged both women’s roping and women’s barrel racing. Jimmie Munroe was one. Over the past 25 years, Jolee (Lauteret) Jordan has been another.
The current women’s roping director, Jordan won reserve world championships in heading and tie-down roping, plus her mom is a world champion heeler. Jolee rodeoed hard enough in the 1990s to make the original WNFR a few times with her rope, but she also ran barrels at three NFRs in Las Vegas roughly 15 years ago, Obviously, she couldn’t do both in the same year, unfortunately.
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Jordan is now tasked with navigating the biggest developments in women’s roping, ever. But she still is keen for barrel racers and breakaway ropers to play on the same team.
“My focus has been on establishing a precedent for how things are done in the future and making sure ropers’ voices are heard in all our decisions, because I truly feel they deserve so much credit for where breakaway is right now,” she says. “This whole thing has been a grassroots effort by the ladies advocating for its inclusion.”
Jolee and her mom were there for the WPRA like no one else when it was thriving and also there when it needed someone to step in and keep it on life support. Still, she deflects credit.
“Carole, Patti and Imogene worked hard to keep things alive when there wasn’t always great support from the barrel racing directors to continue to spend money on the ropers,” she added. “And Jennifer’s connections in the Northwest cannot be understated.”
To have barrel racers and breakaway ropers continue to stand up for each other is simply a relief. In fact, what about when, like at Red Bluff in 2019, Nellie Miller won more money in those two events than any PRCA cowboy? The PRCA didn’t recognize her or put her in the record books. The committee, on the other hand, gave her the all-around award and she made the daily newspaper.
Jordan found out the hard way that PRCA rules state only PRCA events count toward the all-around. She had entered the team roping at the PRCA rodeo in Cave Creek, Arizona, and placed with her dad while also placing in the barrel race. She won the all-around, but not according to the PRCA.
“I’d love to see the WPRA get sponsorship of a “pro rodeo all-around” for barrels and breakaway at PRCA rodeos in coming years,” she says.