Top 5 Breakaway Rookies Weigh in on Highs, Lows and Laughs on 2022 ProRodeo Trail
Josie Conner ProRodeo Rookie breakaway
Courtesy Josie Conner

The newest class of ProRodeo breakaway rookies have been tearing up the trail in 2022. We checked in with the top five to see what they’ve learned on the road, the struggles they’ve had and the cool sights they have seen along the way.

(Standings from WPRA.com as updated July 25, 2022)

5. Lauren Hopkins, Lipan, Texas

2022 Earnings: $9,890.35

Rodeos Count: 41

LH: I would say the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is how to have gratitude and find small things to be grateful for, no matter what else is going on.

LH: One of the many, many mistakes I’ve made is booking a flight that lands two hours before slack starts with an hour drive to the airport. I ended up running down the Salinas rodeo arena while they were about to turn me out because it got delayed.

ProRodeo breakaway roping rookie adventures
West Glacier National Park, courtesy Lauren Hopkins

LH: This is in West Glacier National Park when I went to Bigfork (Montana). I’m a total nature geek and getting to see all these cool places is one of my favorite parts of rodeoing. I didn’t have a very good run in Big Fork and I remember driving to the lake directly after and just sitting there looking at how pretty it was. I was thinking about how lucky I am to be doing this, even when it doesn’t go my way.

4. Gianna Cianfichi, Santa Rosa, California

2022 Earnings: $13,365.02

Rodeo Count: 28

GC: The biggest learning curve I’ve had is knowing what each rodeo set-up is like—whether it’s a long score or short score, or whether the calves are fast or slow. The set-up makes a big difference in what horse I ride. I learned if I’m unsure of the set-up to saddle both horses and watch the first couple then get on the horse that I feel the most confident on in that set-up.

ProRodeo breakaway roping rookie adventures
Reasons to have a tire ramp, courtesy Gianna Cianfichi

GC: One mistake my traveling partner and I learned quickly was that tire ramps are a must-have in the trailer to change tires on the side of a highway!

Catching Planes, Roping Necks, and Making History—with Gianna Cianfichi

3. Addie Weil, Edna, Kansas

2022 Earnings: $16,649.74

Rodeo Count: 33

AW: The rule I live by, and my advice for anyone on the rodeo road is to always be thankful and give all the glory to God! I feel so blessed to be out here—through all the ups and downs!

Also, always allow for plenty of time to get places. Things usually go wrong.

ProRodeo breakaway roping rookie adventures
Making friends, courtesy Addie Weil

AW: It’s such a dream come true to be out here and be with some of my closest friends, I don’t take it for granted!

Read: In ProRodeo Breakaway, It Was 1 or Nothing This Week

2. Bryana Lehrmann, Lexington, Texas

2022 Earnings: $21,238.71

Rodeo Count: 49

BL: One thing I learned is to go to the rodeos that add decent money, at the beginning of the year I had no idea what rodeos should be on my radar, going to everything in reach. I have now learned where I don’t care to waste time, to save my horse and myself.

Top 5 Breakaway Rookies Weigh In On Highs, Lows And Laughs On Prorodeo Trail
Just hanging out at the tire shop, courtesy Bryana Lehrmann

BL: The most important thing for a rookie to do is to be forgiving to themselves. You can’t be too hard on yourself out here. Your truck, trailer, horses, saddles and head could be broken all in the same day but you have to just brush it off and tell yourself it is all ok. My first “Uh-oh,” of the year was running out of order in Laurel, MS in the barrels. I cried and said I wasn’t cut out for the rodeo road; that I just wanted to stay home. Since then, I’ve tackled a lot worse with grace. A seasoned pro in rodeo just handles things better. Rookies are fresh and don’t have the ability to brush things off as easily.

1. Josie Conner, Iowa, Louisiana

2022 Earnings: $30,832.89

Rodeo Count: 41

JC: This process is like anything else, it’s a marathon not a sprint. My advice would be to just keep your head down, find a way to work hard on the road and always eat good food.

Josie Conner ProRodeo Rookie breakaway
Courtesy Josie Conner

Resistol Rookie coverage is brought to you all season long thanks to our friends at Resistol.

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