Making a Living with a Rope: The Hope Thompson Story

Hope Thompson talks about how she got involved in the sport of rodeo, her journey as a female in the roping world, and shares some advice for the next generation.

Hope Thompson about to rope at the Womens Rodeo World Championship
2022 WRWC All Around Champion Hope Thompson smiles as she prepares to compete. Image by BRJ

Hope Thompson is no stranger to success with a rope. She can do it all—breakaway, heading, heeling. So it may be surprising to some when they find out that this WPRA World Champion, NFBR Qualifier, WRWC Champion, coach, and CNFR Champion didn’t come from a rodeo household.

“I didn’t grow up in a rodeo family at all. My mom rescued these horses and brought them home, and my dad was like, ‘We don’t even have a fence.’ Mom said, ‘Well, we’ll have to build one,'” Thompson explained. “They took me to watch a play day and I fell in love with it and wanted to do it. I always wanted to rope. Carried a rope around. They didn’t know enough to teach me. I started out with the speed events—ran barrels, poles, all of that at the playdays.”

After meeting R.E. Josey, young Thompson began learning from the Josey family and clawed her way through the ranks, Around 2010, she put it all on the line and moved to the Guy Ranch in Abilene, Texas, over a decade ago. Since then, Thompson has continued to work hard to become one of the most influential roping competitors and coaches in the world.

“It is time. It’s time that a woman can make a living with a rope.”

Hope Thompson

On this episode of The Breakaway Breakdown, Thompson describes her storied $58,000 week at the WRWC in Fort Worth, Texas, tells her story in the sport of rodeo, and gives some no-frills advice to the next generation.

This episode is brought to you by Fast Back Ropes.