By: Kendra Santos
“Growing up on the Rez, it’s a point of pride being able to handle a rope.” – Danielle Lowman
Navajo cowboys Erich Rogers, Aaron Tsinigine and Derrick Begay have been constants in the world-class team roping conversation for years. Now here come Navajo cowgirls Danielle Lowman, Bailey Bates and Serena Dahozy, who are serious three-event threats here at this week’s $750,000 Women’s Rodeo World Championship at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’ve never had a chance like this, so it’s a great opportunity to be here,” said Lowman, 28, who grew up in White Cone, Arizona, and now lives in Gilbert. “Growing up on the Rez, it’s a point of pride being able to handle a rope.”
Classic Ropes cowgirls Lowman, Bates and Dahozy have grown up competing together. Here at the WRWC, Lowman is heading for Dahozy, heeling for Lari Dee Guy and breakaway roping.
“I team roped first, then learned how to breakaway rope from Bailey and (National Finals Rodeo barrel racer) Kassidy Dennison (who’s also roping here),” Lowman said. “Rodeo is huge in our Native American culture. We have horses, cattle and goats to take care of, and grow up working hard outdoors. Then we go inside and help Grandma cook. We’re raised to work hard and be tough.”
Lowman has admired the ultimate all-around icon all her life.
“I’ve always looked up to The King, Trevor Brazile (who last week surpassed $7 million in career earnings and won his 26th world championship at the National Finals Steer Roping in Kansas),” she said. “I love watching Trevor and how he presents himself. He’s a real hand.”
Bates, 27, calls Nakaibito, New Mexico, home and bulldogger Michael Bates brother. While she’s here in Fort Worth, she’s heading for Serena, heeling for Cindy Welling and breakaway roping. Bates is bullish on being at the richest women’s rodeo of all time, too.
“It’s awesome to live in this era, where women’s rodeo is picking up and coming out of its shell,” Bates said. “Being a Navajo kid, what prepared us for this amazing opportunity was growing up on the Rez and competing at Indian rodeos, where they have ladies team roping and breakaway roping. We’ve all been roping a long time.
“Dani, Serena and I have roped together forever, so it’s pretty special being here together. An event like this makes me think about our roots. It’s a big deal to be here competing for this amount of money, especially where we come from.”
Dahozy, who’s also 28 with just one day’s difference in age from Lowman, is from the heart and capital of the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona. Her big brother, Brooks Dahozy, is a professional team roper.
“We have no chance at money like this anywhere else,” said Serena, who’s heeling for Lowman and Bates here, and also breakaway roping. “To be here with my friends, who both rope so good, is special. And to recognize the all-around like they do here, of course we’re going to enter up.”
The Women’s Rodeo World Championship All-Around Titlist will take home a trophy saddle and $20,000 check.
“Twenty grand is a lot of money,” Dahozy said. “That’s enough for a new horse. I just feel so blessed to be here.”