Ahead of the 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship (WRWC), scheduled to storm the Fort Worth Stockyards at the Cowtown Coliseum May 1720, the organization has announced the final roster of 193 female rodeo athletes set to compete.
The WRWC is the largest event purse in the history of women’s rodeo. It will pay out $750,000 in 2023 while crowning World Champions in both the Pro and Challenger classifications in the following disciplines: Team Roping (Heading and Heeling), Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing.
The fourth edition of the WRWC will be hosted at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth May 18-20 in conjunction with the PBR World Finals, with a roster comprised of 50-barrel racers, 46 team roping pairs, and 51 breakaway ropers.
The roster is highlighted by 2022 All-Around Cowgirl, Hope Thompson (Abilene, Texas). Thompson earned the ultimate cowgirl accolade by accumulating World Champions Rodeo Alliance leaderboard points, then putting an exclamation point on the world all-around race with an impressive showing at the 2022 WRWC. With $231,000 in WCRA earnings alone, Hope is the winningest cowgirl in the WCRA’s brief history. In 2022, she won $36,200 and has a shot at another $120,000 should she strike in both the breakaway and team roping.
Hope has earned three WRWC titles— two in the heeling and the 2022 world allaround crown. She won the first championship in 2020 heeling for Riley Smith (Whitsett, Texas), where the two talented Texas women walked away with $110,000 each and the 2022 WRWC Challenger championship title.
The 2023 roster includes 2022 Breakaway Roping champion Martha Angelone (Stephenville, Texas) and runnerup Britta Strain (Bryan, TX). In the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round, a ferociously contested Breakaway Roping Event Championship race capped off a slugfest between Martha Angelone (Stephenville, Texas) and barrel racer/ breakaway roper Britta Strain (Bryan, TX).
Backed by a strong showing, including tying for the week’s fastest time, Angelone surged to the top of the breakaway roping leaderboard after a 2.05-second time to win the showdown round, besting Strain’s 2.29-second run. The 3x WRWC qualifier entered the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round alongside Strain and Jenna Dallyn (Nanton, AB).
Strain delivered a groundbreaking performance at the event, as the string broke away from her saddle horn at an impressive 2.04-second time, good for the fastest time of the week. Angelone backed into the box and stopped the clock simultaneously with Strain, tying for the event title. Angelone’s Showdown Round time was the tie-breaker decision. As Angelone had a faster time than Strain in the showdown round, Angelone was named the event winner.
The 2022 Team Roping champions Kylie Mclean (San Tan Valley, Arizona) and Megan Gunter (Mccammon, Idaho) return this year. The duo earned a remarkable 6.65-second time in 2022 to take home the top spot. Tracey Nelson (Mcdavid, Florida) and Kaylee Billingsley (Phoenix, AZ) notched a valiant 7.96-second run to take the number two spot. Mclean and Gunter took home $60,000 individually, a Jesse Jaymes Silversmith’s buckle, and the WRWC barrel racing Event Champion Title.
Each WRWC Event Champion will take home a minimum of $60,000, while the All-Around Champion will collect a $20,000 cash bonus. The WRWC is a culmination of a yearlong race of women’s rodeo events worldwide. On May 17, WRWC will host a Last Chance Qualifier where an additional 9-39 athletes will to the roster. The additions will be based on discipline and entries.
All qualifying rounds of competition will be held May 18-19. The top 12 in each roping event will advance to the May 18 Showdown Round. The top three from the Showdown Round will progress to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round to duke it out for the $60,000 prize. Barrel racers will be exempt from the showdown round, with 12 athletes advancing directly to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round.
The event will be broadcast daily on PBR RidePass on Pluto TV and Cowgirl Channel. The 2023 WRWC will also be featured on Cowboy Channel the week of May 22 at 8 p.m. ET each night.