Dreaming big
2024 Goals: How the Pros Plan and Execute Breakaway Goals

Take notes on the ProRodeo breakaway roper’s goal-planning methods and mindsets.

Kelsie Domer pumps her fist after a lightning fast run and near miss on the barrier in Round 3 at the 2023 NFBR.
Kelsie Domer pumps her fist after a lightning fast run and near miss on the barrier in Round 3 at the 2023 NFBR. Photo by Jamie Arviso

Nobody knows how to set breakaway goals like ProRodeo ropers, and it’s evident that the mindset and gameplan varies greatly for each athlete—meaning there’s something to glean from every single one.

As a new year of roping arrives, it’s usually the time competitors set their sights on new breakaway goals.

Whether a roper is looking to improve their neck loop, season a young horse, or enter a ProRodeo, referencing the pro’s breakaway goals and how they plan to achieve them is helpful context for ropers of all levels.

Kelsie Domer: Focus on the big picture

Kelsie Domer’s notes app has her main focus boiled down into a few simple phrases.

9-time WPRA World Champion, 2-time NFBR Qualifier (2021, 2023)

“I have some goals I think about—but to me, it’s all the little goals and wins that add up. I’m guessing there are a ton of girls that have a goal to make the, NFR right? Anyone can write that down. I don’t need to be reminded of that. I’m going to focus on [the little steps] it takes to actually get to the NFR.”

Rickie Fanning: Write them down

2-time NFBR Qualifier (2022–2023)

“A big thing with goals is writing them down. I have long-term goals and short-term goals for individual rodeos. I keep them in a journal next to my bed or on sticky notes on my bathroom mirror so I can see them all the time.

I don’t just do rodeo goals, I do life goals like working out, 10 blessings and financial goals. A big thing is reading through those goals often.

I have a tendency just to write them down—but a big goal this year is to read back through them. This helps me stay focused and achieve those goals!

A broad goal I’m working on is consistency; in working out, practicing or roping the dummy every day, and riding young ones. Trying to stay consistent.”

Cheyanne McCartney: “Just pray and work hard.”

3-time NFBR Qualifier, 2023 NFBR Average Champion

“I don’t write any goals down. My goals are in my mind, and I think about them and work towards them every day. I just pray and work hard.”

MaryBeth Beam runs a calf down at the Woodward Elks Rodeo in Oklahoma
MaryBeth Beam runs a calf down at the Woodward Elks Rodeo in Oklahoma aboard horse “Get Around.” Photo by Phil Kitts/Avid Visuals Imagery

Marybeth Beam: Utilize mental mindset books

2023 WPRA Resistol Rookie Contender

“All my goals are written down in my mental book called ‘Master the Art of Winning’ from Donene Taylor. Some of my 2024 goals include placing at three of the big building rodeos and making it to the NFBR.”

Braylee Shepherd: Make goals easily visible

2023 WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year

I try to update my goals monthly keeping them simple and within reach. I write them down everywhere; journal and on my phone mostly.

A bigger goal I have right now is to be in the Top 15 standings before the summer run starts.

Madison Outhier: Utilize technology

Madison Outhier ropes a calf in breakaway roping at San Antonio.
Madison Outhier went 1.8 in the 2023 San Antonio Semifinals to punch her Finals ticket. Image by Hailey Rae Photography

2021 WPRA Resistol Rookie of the Year

I definitely love writing down goals and keeping a detailed schedule. I write them on my iPad on an app called Good Notes so it syncs to my phone or any device. I can easily look up my schedule/entries/goals at any time.

My goals for this year consist of:

  • Winning a major building rodeo this winter
  • Qualifying for The American
  • Making the Cinch Playoffs in Puyallup & Sioux Falls
  • Qualifying for the National Finals Breakaway

Setting goals helps me visualize and create a plan to prepare and capitalize where I need to.”

Sawyer Gilbert: Know that goals aren’t limited by 1-year increments

Gilbert Sawyer 3 25 23 Phifer Austin Ap 349.jpg
Sawyer Gilbert and her trusted Paint Horse “Roger” became the first breakaway champions at Rodeo Austin. Photo by Phifer.

2021 NFBR Average and World Champion

“Just because it’s 2024 doesn’t mean you make all new goals. The goals from last year/season are still there, and you still need to achieve them. The end goal is not something that you write down, you write down the steps to achieve that goal. The breakdown of the goal can be shared with your inner circle of people—but overall, goals are a private matter.”

Erin Johnson: Keeping goals to yourself is OK

Erin Johnson ropes at red lodge Montana
Erin Johnson successfully defended her No. 15 spot in the 2023 season, advancing to the NFBR in the last hole. Photo by Avid Visuals Imagery Rodeo Photography

3-time WPRA World Champion, 4-time NFBR Qualifier (2020–2023)

“I’m probably a little different than most, but I’m superstitious about vocalizing my goals, so I seldom do. My simple roping goal for my entire career has been to do the best I can on each calf I run, and let the end result will fall where it may.”

There’s no wrong way to set goals for the upcoming year, and with input from the ProRodeo ladies, it’s evident there are several tools for personalizing the process.

This coverage is supported by Sentinel Horse Nutrition, which prides itself on nourishing equine athletes without filler ingredients found in other feeds.

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