Because of the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge in Reno, Nevada, this year, breakaway ropers were showcased for the first time ever June 27 during a performance of the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.”
The Reno Rodeo celebrated its 100th anniversary this year as one of North America’s most prestigious events, crowding the rodeos in San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Pendleton, Oregon as one of the six richest regular-season venues in the sport. On June 27, the top five from Wrangler BFI Week’s 2019 Charlie 1 Horse event at the same venue roped in that night’s Reno Rodeo for a winner-take-all cash prize of $1,000 put up by Hooey Brands and the Reno Rodeo just after the tie-down roping.
The landmark move comes just two years after Reno’s All-Girl Team Roping – held since the 1990s in conjunction with the Bob Feist Invitational – added a breakaway event and started the trend sweeping professional rodeo. Soon thereafter, RFD-TV’s The American rodeo followed suit, as did a handful of PRCA rodeos and the WCRA.
“It’s so cool,” said Jackie Crawford, an 18-time world champion in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) from Stephenville, Texas. “I love that these big rodeos are giving girls another event that’s fast-paced and uses some of the same skills as the guys.”
In Reno, Crawford had roped three calves in 7.89 seconds to win the Charlie 1 Horse Breakaway Challenge and $7,000 cash plus the custom Cactus trophy saddle, buckle, and plethora of other BFI Week prizes. The event provided three qualifications to RFD-TV’s The American Semi-Finals. And Crawford’s feat earned her a qualification to the Rope for the Crown breakaway contest in Las Vegas on Dec. 7, wherein 60 top ropers will battle for bragging rights.
She clocked the fastest time of the short round – a 2.3-second run – despite a calf that ducked right.
“I’ve been one out of the money a lot lately, so I’ve been working on being aggressive,” she said. “Breakaway is getting so tough that you cannot back off – not if you want to win – but even if you want to place anymore. I had to hit that start and get it on him.”
Crawford led the top five into the Reno Rodeo that night and roped last. Her longtime nemesis, fellow world champ Lari Dee Guy of Abilene, Texas, was leading for the $1,000 with a 3.9-second run when Crawford thrilled the crowd with a 3.8 to win the prize.
Complete results from the 2019 Charlie 1 Horse All Girl Breakaway:
First Round: 1. Amy Woodruff, 2.27 seconds, $800; 2. J.J. Hampton, 2.36, $600; 3. Kelsie Chace, 2.40, $400. Second Round: 1. Kelsie Chace, 2.33, $800; 2. Coralee Spratt, 2.34, $600; 3. Taniah Nez, 2.39, $400. Short Round (that didn’t place in the average): 1. Taniah Nez, 2.84, $600; 2. Nellie Williams 3.03, $400.
Aggregate: 1. Jackie Crawford, 7.89 seconds on three, $7,000; 2. Amy Woodruff, 8.24, $5,000; 3. Lari Dee Guy, 9.23, $4,000; 4. Kate Amarant, 9.27, $3,000; 5. Jett Parke, 9.50, $2,500; 6. Kati Rice, 9.87, $2,000; 7. Danielle Lowman, 10.04, $1,500; 8. Beth Hitchcock, 10.28, $1,000.