As we prepare for two monumental months in women’s Western sports, I’m balancing the urge to sit back and appreciate the historic importance of this moment with the need to step up more than I ever have—to be prepared to rise to the unprecedented occasions at hand.
Next month—Nov. 12-15—will pay out some $1.2 million to lady team ropers, breakaway ropers and barrel racers. The Women’s Rodeo World Championships alone will pay $750,000, with the winner walking away $60,000 richer. That event pays the whole way down to 24th place, and now, in the heart of Texas and paired with the PBR’s World Finals, there’s never been a better time or place to be a woman in roping.
That same weekend, we get the chance to rope at the historic $250,000 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Finals in Waco—an event that supported women in roping before it was the cool thing to do. The oldest professional women’s sports organization, the WPRA had our backs when nobody else did.
And The Cowgirl Gathering—in its first year, will pay some $205,000 across barrel racing, team roping and breakaway roping.
We’ve talked a big game for a long time about being ready for our chance, for our opportunity, to showcase our talents on the biggest stages in the sport of rodeo. And here we are—with three of the largest events in our history in one weekend. They’re all no-brainers to enter, especially being so close by. The WCRA has stepped up in a big way for women from its inception, and the WRWC is proof that they’re making an investment for us in a big way.
The next step, then, in this battle for our chance, is perhaps the easiest yet: We enter. We show up. We support those who agreed that it’s our time to shine.
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The top 15 in the WPRA’s ProRodeo World Standings will get the spotlight on their talents in Arlington Dec. 8-10 at the first-ever National Finals of Breakaway Roping, and that’s an opportunity I sure won’t take for granted and one of the greatest honors of my life. But the strength and long-term success of the industry lies in the numbers we’ll see in the weeks and months leading up to it. It’s our chance to put our money where our mouth is and enter up, for the moms and dads to bring their kids to rope at all the junior events and for the ladies to crack out their head and heel horses.
I’m doing everything I can to be ready, and I can’t wait to see you all there. BRJ