Previously, women have only been able to compete in Barrel Racing professionally in the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA). As of this year, women will now be able to compete in the Breakaway Roping event.
The Okotoks Pro Rodeo has been approved, along with 10 other Canadian Rodeos in 2019, to be able to provide this event for competition that will count towards qualifying these ladies for the Canadian Finals Rodeo this coming October in Red Deer, Alberta.
The Okotoks Pro Rodeo was held over the weekend in Millarville.
What is Breakaway Roping?
Breakaway roping is a variation of calf roping where a calf is roped, but not thrown and tied. It is a rodeo event that features a calf and one mounted rider. The calves are moved one at a time through narrow runs leading to a chute with spring-loaded doors. The horse and rider wait in a box next to the chute that has a spring-loaded rope, known as the barrier, stretched in front. A light rope is fastened from the chute to the calf’s neck, releasing once the calf is well away from the chute and releasing the barrier, which is used to ensure that the calf gets a head start. Once the barrier has released, the horse runs out of the box while the roper attempts to throw a lasso around the neck of the calf.
Once the rope is around the calf’s neck, the roper signals the horse to stop suddenly. The rope is tied to the saddle horn with a string. When the calf hits the end of the rope, the rope is pulled tight and the string breaks. The breaking of the string marks the end of the run. The rope usually has a small white flag at the end that makes the moment the rope breaks more easily seen by the timer. The fastest run wins. (Wikipedia)