By: Kendra Santos
In keeping with long-standing sports tradition, football players who win the Super Bowl like to celebrate by saying, “I’m going to Disney World!” Here at the inaugural $750,000 Women’s Rodeo World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, the Super Six who advanced from the Main Event at Will Rogers Coliseum to the Championship Round at AT&T Stadium in Arlington are saying, “I’m going to Jerry’s World!”
AT&T Stadium—aka “Jerry’s World”—is home turf to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s also home arena to the 2020 Professional Bull Riders World Finals, where the top six WRWC team roping teams, barrel racers and breakaway ropers will square off tonight through Sunday for the grand finale of the richest event in women’s rodeo history.
Two familiar names in professional team roping both north and south of the border—Schmidt and Dallyn—are among the top teams who have advanced to AT&T’s team roping final tonight (barrel racing is Saturday and breakaway roping is Sunday). Taylor Schmidt of Barrhead, Alberta, is the 21-year-old little sister of Kolton Schmidt, who’ll rope at his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo next month at AT&T. Jenna Dallyn of Nanton, Alberta, is the 22-year-old daughter of longtime Canadian team roping dominator Rocky Dallyn. Taylor and Jenna won the Round-1 buckles in the Main Event, and advanced with the rest of the Super Six—including average winners Bev Robbins and Jessy Remsburg—based on their two-run total.
“I definitely wouldn’t be here without my family,” said Schmidt, who’s riding big brother Kolton’s horse Otis here at the WRWC. “I’m third generation. My grandpa (Leonard), my dad (Ronald) and my brother have all influenced me so much. All of my cousins and whole family team rope. I breakaway rope, too, but the team roping is a very important event to me.
“I devote about all my time to team roping, so the WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) giving women team ropers equal money is just incredible. The Women’s Rodeo World Championship is opportunity over opportunity. There’s more opportunity every round, and to get to go to AT&T is a dream come true in itself.”
Both girls are seniors at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, which is the undisputed current Cowboy Capital of the World. Schmidt is earning a business degree in marketing, and Dallyn is an animal science major.
“If you do well in high school rodeo up in Canada, coming down here to college in Texas is the path most people take,” Jenna said. “This is where I’ve always wanted to end up. It’s where most of the top rodeo athletes in the world are, so the competition is the toughest.”
Dallyn was a standout in the goat tying event before suffering a devastating injury to her right knee two years ago that required surgery and extensive rehab. It was so rigorous that she took last year off of school to work hard at getting well.
“I’m now only focusing on team roping and breakaway roping,” she said. “And it’s starting to pay off.”
She can say that again. Dallyn is roommates with Hunter Koch—who’ll heel for Kolton Schmidt at his second straight NFR in December—and Hunter’s brother, Kash Koch.
“Yes, we’re all one big, happy family,” smiled Jenna, who’s riding a 6-year-old mare she calls Nugget, that’s a full sister to one of her dad Rocky’s all-time favorite heel horses, Diesel. “I practice with Hunter, Kash, Kolton and Taylor a lot. They’ve all been really awesome about helping me with my roping. It’s been a blast.
“My dad’s who taught me to rope. I started heeling when I was very young. I watched my dad do it every day, and it intrigued me, because he’s been my hero all my life. My whole family team ropes, like Taylor’s. We’re so proud to represent Canada, and sure appreciate all the people who are cheering for us up there at home. That’s pretty special to us.”