BY: KYLE JONES
In late August, the Northern Breakaway and Team Roping Championships (NBC) was held in the “City of Presidents” near the Black Hills in Rapid City, South Dakota and nothing shined brighter than the “WCRA Challenger Athletes”.
To the unmarked eye, it might have seemed like just another roping event, but if you look a little closer- history was made at the South Dakota event with the unveiling of the WCRA Challenger opportunity. For the first time in history, breakaway roping was tiered to allow challengers athletes the chance to compete against athletes of their own ranking.
What is a challenger?
WCRA has joined forces with Rodeo Logistics Athlete Classification (RLAC), Global Handicap, and Equi-Stats to create more opportunities for all women rodeo athletes with a tiering system based on earnings and rankings in their respective disciplines. This tiering system will be used at the inaugural Women’s Rodeo World Championship (WRWC) and will level the playing field for all athletes. The opportunity will divide the pro and challenger athletes into their respective pools in the WRWC qualifying rounds and give each group a direct path to compete at center stage. Find out if you’re a pro or challenger HERE.
“The challenger setup is a great deal and it gets a bunch of people here that normally wouldn’t enter and helps them win money and get a little more confidence in themselves,” said pro classified breakaway roper Taylor Munsell.
The NBC handed out 78 checks and paid out more than $78,000 in cash on top of $15,000 in prizes. The event had a stand-alone open and challenger classes in both breakaway and team roping with two go-rounds, a short go, and an average.
With the NBC being a WCRA Challenger opportunity on top of a WCRA Expanded Points format, the points from the all-woman event gave the WCRA Leaderboard a makeover.
According to NBC event promoter Billie Bray- the challenger format allowed for more money and points every time an athlete backed into the box and allowed more winners and more checks in each roping.
This was such a great opportunity for women in all of rodeo,” said Bray. “The WRWC is an amazing opportunity with all that is going on in our world today and we really appreciate the opportunity to produce the first event with a new format.”
While the open breakaway roping remained near consistent with 96 entries, the challenger opportunity allowed for 74 more entries with 47 of the challengers also choosing to compete in the open as well.
Here’s what happened last week on the leaderboard:
- Lari Dee Guy has returned to the #1 spot W20 leaderboard after a five-week hiatus after earning 497 points.
- 23 new athletes added to the W20 Heeling Leaderboard
- Whitney Desalvo has owned the number one spot on W20 Heeling Leaderboard for nine straight weeks, but was surpassed by Danielle Lowman when she earned a total of 754 points this week.
- Quincy Segelke is new to the heeling leaderboard and has clinched the number nine position after netting a total of 304 total points.
- 15 new athletes added to the W20 Heeling Leaderboard
- After nine weeks, Jackie Crawford has returned to the top spot on the W20 Breakaway Leaderboard after learning 161.5 points.
- 82 new athletes added to the W20 Heeling Leaderboard
In the upcoming months, WCRA athletes will have the opportunity to earn expanded points at the following events:
Oklahoma’s Richest Open Roping (Breakaway): October 16 in Guthrie, OK
Oklahoma’s Richest Challenger Roping (Breakaway): October 16 in Guthrie, OK
Kenny Zamora Productions (Team Roping): October 8 in Decatur, TX