Breakaway Benefactor: Pam Minick

In this 10-part series, Julie Mankin profiles the unsung heroes of breakaway roping.


A Nevada native, Pam Minick already understood promotion when she began roping professionally.

“Even when I was Miss Rodeo America in 1973, they had an all-girl rodeo in Elko where I competed in breakaway,” recalls Minick. “To promote it, they had me on the Johnny Carson show. So almost 50 years ago, we were promoting all-women’s rodeo on a big stage.”

[Full List: The 10 Unsung Heroes of Breakaway Roping]

Minick became a WPRA director in 1978 and later served as vice president of the WPRA for 16 years, winning the breakaway world title in ’82. She worked alongside Jimmie Gibbs Munroe, whose former roping experience she credits with the reason Munroe made sure women’s roping got as much attention as barrel racing. Together, they forced PRCA rodeos to come up with equal money for barrel racers.

“It took almost 50 years for women to get equal money,” Minick says. “Hopefully, it won’t take that long for breakaway ropers.”

Minick thinks girls have the power to compete on a level playing field, in fact, and fully expects to see a woman at the NFR in team roping in the near future. Unsurprisingly, she’s also not done promoting cowgirls. The former inductee into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame said last week the Museum will be awarding the “Betty Gayle Cooper Fast Time” trophy buckle in Arlington at the inaugural National Finals of Breakaway Roping. After all, she became the face of women’s roping for decades for one reason – the thrill of competition.

“There was always a part of me every year that set out with the goal to win another world championship,” she says. “Jeana Brooks and Sandy Hodge and those girls were just great, great, great ropers. Truly, in my opinion, they’re the ones who paved the way for the girls to compete for big money now.”

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