… breakaway roping is the new frontier, the next place to help grow the roping industry and empower ropers to strive for greatness in a new way.

Chelsea Shaffer

Breakaway roping has a long and rich history.  From its emergence as a high school rodeo event including the crowning of a NHSRA national champion in 1953, to the addition of breakaway roping as an event at WPRA rodeos in the 70’s.  The sport has seen ebbs and flows in opportunities and total payoff’s available.  2020 has been a historic year with an explosion of opportunities including Breakaway roping being added to multiple PRCA rodeos and several with equal added money in the Breakaway roping event.  Additionally, the PRCA and WPRA together sanctioned the Wrangler National Finals of Breakaway Roping with a $200,000 purse. WCRA also created the Women’s Rodeo World Championship including Breakaway roping and a $60,000 payout to the 1st place winner.  

It is an exciting time for Breakaway roping and if you are an open caliber Breakaway roper, there are unlimited opportunities.  But what if you love breakaway roping but don’t have the time or money to compete at the open level?  The sport is starting to change, and we are seeing events that create divisions based on age, money won, and the utilization of the 4D/5D concept.  

We only have to look to the Team Roping industry to understand the current type of categorization does not effectively create opportunities for all levels of ropers.  It is time for the industry to embrace a handicap system that creates divisions that allow all competitors to compete against ropers of similar ability. This is not a new concept, but it is a missing ingredient and a necessary step to further grow this sport that is already starting to explode.  

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