Kelsie Domer, who won the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo in January, has been to 13 rodeos and won $42,192.88 thus far—second only to Erin Johnson, who counted $25,000 of her $50,000 RodeoHouston win for the standings. That brought Johnson’s 12-rodeo total to $50,249.66. Domer, who has nine WPRA world titles, has been roping with her saddle horn cut off to make room for her stomach for the last few weeks.
“I’ve felt great,” Domer, 31, of Stephenville, Texas, said. “I’ve been pretty lucky—I haven’t been sick and it’s all been the same for me. It hasn’t been that bad at all. Honestly, it’s different just because of the thought that I’m pregnant. I’m six months pregnant—I’m all there. But I haven’t ever felt like I missed or scored bad because I was pregnant.
“This week, being at Northside for the Women’s Rodeo World Championships and knowing how fast that setup is, I almost second-guessed myself even though I shouldn’t have. Yesterday I roped the ears, today I missed and broke out. I didn’t feel like being pregnant hindered me any honestly. Would I have been more confident knowing I had to be first or second to be fast? Sure, maybe. But I don’t want to use that as an excuse.”
Domer’s due date is August 29, meaning, theoretically, she could sneak back into the saddle for the last few lucrative stops of the rodeo season. But that’s not at all on Domer’s radar.
“I’m done for the 2022 rodeo season,” Domer said. “I’m not going to try to hustle back or anything like that. Being due the end of August, October 1 is so close to that. I told myself I wasn’t going to do that to myself. I’m happy with my winter, I’m happy with the rodeos so far, and I’m going to continue to be happy with that. I’m not going to have it in my mind that as soon as little girl comes I’ll be pushing to be back. I want to spend time with her.”
Domer’s great horse, Little Man, will enjoy his time off right along with his jockey. Little Man, 16, will head out to Domer’s pasture while the rest of the country’s top breakaway horses hit the road hard for the summer run.
“Now, when it’s 100 degrees and the diesel is $6, I can stay home,” Domer said, laughing. “And Little Man is going to head to the round bale. Closer to the time it’s start to think about going again, I will think about sending him to swim or to an equated, but for now? He’s going to enjoy this time off.”
Last season, Taylor Hanchey qualified for the National Finals of Breakaway Roping with $24,567.15. So chances are, Domer is safe with almost double that won already. But if she doesn’t make the cut?
“If it all pans out, I’ll be back for the NFR,” Domer said. “That’s the fairytale. But if $42,000 doesn’t make the NFR, that’s AMAZING. If I’m not in and it takes more than that, that’s freaking bad ass, and the breakaway roping is headed to where we want it to go.”
(Editor’s note: To be clear, the WPRA and PRCA have yet to define what sort of year-end event the breakaway ropers are working toward—be it an NFBR or a spot in the Thomas & Mack.)
This will mark the first time in recent memory that a contestant in the top 15 in the WPRA World Standings has bowed out of the race this early in the season due to pregnancy. In 2020, Jackie Crawford won the first-ever WPRA ProRodeo Breakaway World title six months pregnant, cutting off her saddle horn to make room for her stomach while she was pregnant with daughter Journey.