One of the main highlights of Wrangler BFI Week in 2019 was the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge team roping on June 27. Annually the richest open all-female team roping in the country, it was live-streamed on www.wranglernetwork.com.
A pair of Navajo “sisters” made the 12-hour drive from Arizona to Reno to out-rope nearly 160 teams in that event by just one-hundredth of a second to earn $26,000 cash and BFI Week’s legendary prizeline.
Debbie Robbins of Winslow and Danielle Lowman of Mesa, both No. 5 ropers, roped their first three steers in 24.58 seconds to lead the pack into the short round by almost two seconds. Despite a penalty on the fourth steer, they squeaked into first place in the aggregate on four over Alabama’s Beverly Robbins and Jesse Remsburg. Beverly Robbins (no relation to Debbie), also placed fourth with another partner to earn a Reno total of $9,688.
“I wanted that buckle here,” said Debbie Robbins. “And I’m going to ride that saddle.”
She and Lowman share a grandmother and grew up about 45 minutes away from each other.
“Before we came out here, I told her, ‘This time let’s not practice as hard as we usually do,’” said Lowman, 26, a four-time Indian National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “‘Let’s go over there and just win it all and come back.’”
Debbie Robbins, then, didn’t rope at all in the week leading up to the event. She grew up roping sheep at her grandmother’s house on the Navajo reservation. Since then, she’s become an Indian National Finals Rodeo breakaway champion and the 2007 WPRA world all-around champion.
“I’d say our practice runs worked out pretty well here today,” Debbie said. “This is a good roping – all the tough girls are here.”
Danielle sometimes works in construction and competes in rodeos for a living, while Debbie takes care of her dad and rides and trains several horses a day. She practices on Corriente cattle that she and her brothers and cousins raise and contract to rodeos.
Danielle Lowman, riding her heel horse, also placed seventh in the aggregate of the breakaway with a three-head time of 10.04 seconds to win the $2,500 cash bonus and trophy Gist spurs awarded to the Charlie 1 Horse all-around champion during BFI Week. Her total haul in Reno was $17,450, all on a 9-year-old mare she calls Boots that she raised on the Navajo reservation and trained herself.
“I just tried to make sure I caught my last calf,” said Lowman. “I was shooting for the all-around bonus. It’s pretty tough to go against Jackie and pull that off. Now I know I can hang with her.”
Complete results from the 2019 Charlie 1 Horse All Girl Team Roping:
First Round: 1. Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl, 7.48 seconds, $1,000; 2/3. (tie) Kayelen Helton and Samantha Kerns, and Beverly Robbins and Jessy Remsburg, 7.66 seconds each, $375 each. Second Round: 1. Rylea Rae Fabrizio and Lorraine Moreno, 6.53, $1,000; 2. Bethanie Shofner and Abbie Shofner, 7.3, $750. Short Round (that didn’t place in the average): 1. Kayelen Helton and Kelsie Chace, 7.46, $1,000; 2. Rylea Rae Fabrizio and Bonnie Matlack, 8.22, $750.
Aggregate: 1. Debbie Robbins and Danielle Lowman, 37.30 seconds on four, $26,000; 2. Beverly Robbins and Jessy Rembsburg, 37.31, $12,000; 3. Keely Kirkman and Chelsey Bushnell, 40.17, $8,000; 4. Beverly Robbins and Jimmi Jo Montera, 40.32, $7,000; 5. Reba Gonzales and Maddee Doerr, 40.49, $6,000; 6. Lari Dee Guy and Kelsie Chace, 41.40, $5,000; 7. Bailey Corkill and Kelsie Chace, 42.31, $4,000; 8. Brooke Jackson and Summer Tex, 43.87, $3,000.