The BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping sent BFI Week 2022 out with a big bang, and young gun Cajun cowgirl Josie Conner stuck it on ’em April 5 for $11,000, including $1,000 for the 18 & Under Youth Incentive. Home-schooled high school senior Conner of Iowa, Louisiana, roped three calves in 12.59 seconds for the last big win of this year’s BFI Week.
“This is awesome,” said Josie, who’s 18, graduates in May and plans to start college at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in the fall. “The BFI is such a prestigious event in the team roping world, and they were one of the first big jackpots to bring the breakaway along with it. We appreciate that, and this was a pretty good day.
“I’ve had a lot of success at the Lazy E. It’s such a great facility, and the people who run it are so nice. I always know my horses are safe here. I just feel comfortable here.”
Conner and her horse Dutch also won the 18 & Under Youth Incentive at the BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping.
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Josie is the daughter of Jade and Wendi Conner, and Daddy Jade is always in her corner—literally. Josie’s giving her trademark sorrel horse, Tonka, a mini vacation while she and her parents head for the spring-run rodeos in California.
“I almost cried when I left Tonka home yesterday,” Josie said. “This is the first place I’ve been without Tonka. But Dutch (who’s also a sorrel) has done great, and I really just feel like this is going to help me get rolling on him.”
There were 105 entries, the scoreline was one under, and the calves were running. Second to Conner’s 12.50 on three was Cassidy Kelly at 14.30. She won $6,000.
It’s a great time to be a young breakaway roper, and Conner is capitalizing on it.
“Breakaway roping has grown so much as a sport, and all the girls have upped their game,” Josie said. “It’s just so cool to grow up with the sport. Between the rodeos, what the WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and ropings are doing, it’s crazy. It’s happening fast, and I’m really excited for that.”
Josie Conner of Iowa, Louisiana, roped three calves in 12.59 seconds to win the 2022 BFI Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Breakaway Roping, $11,000, a Cactus Saddle, two Gist Buckles, YETI Carryall, Heel-O-Matic Nex and Rattler Rope.
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Her dad has had the biggest hand in helping Josie climb the roping ranks. She’s also a student of the game.
“I like to watch all the breakaway ropers, and take bits and pieces from everyone and see how they might work for me,” she said. “They’ve all impacted me. As the sport’s gotten bigger, everyone has upped their game. And that’s helped me up mine.”
She had to wait to turn 18 to get her pro card. That makes this Josie’s rookie year.
“Because I’m a rookie, I had to watch Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston from home,” she said. “But I’ve had a good year at the youth events, and I’m excited to get rolling now. I’m just going to try to get to the good rodeos, and the big open ropings. I try to do my job every single time, make as few mistakes as possible and not leave money on the table.”