As the 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship got underway, 15-year-old London Gorham (Cotulla, Texas) rode supreme, winning Round One, while Danielle Lowman (White Cove, AZ) and Josie Conner (Iowa, LA) both dominated in breakaway roping to further intensify the heated all-around world championship battle.
Barrel racer Gorham surged to an early lead in the race for the pro round winner compliments of an unrivaled 13.295-second ride atop Homeboy. Laura Mote (Llano, Texas) was a close second place after she and Red Hot Redbull stopped the clock at 13.306. The top two-ranked challenger leaderboard athlete, Sable Emerson, distanced the competition courtesy of her impressive 13.364-second run.
Each round one winner is taking home a minimum of $2500.
Compliments of her swift 1.61-second time, four-time WRWC qualifier Danielle Lowman (White Cove, AZ) bested the breakaway roping competition by more than four-tenths of a second. Lowman edged out Josie Conner after the Cajun’s string broke away from her saddle horn at 2.01 seconds. No. 1 ranked leaderboard athlete Riley Romero’s (Welsh, Louisiana) 2.51-second effort catapulted her to the challenger round-one top ranks ahead of Bucki Shepherd (Cotopaxi, Texas), who ran a 2.66-second time.
Team roping combo Kayelen Helton (Stephenville, Texas) and Lorraine Moreno (Mathis, Texas) garnered a 6.51-second time, cracking into the No. 1 spot in the pro division ahead of Kenna Francis (Las Vegas, New Mexico) and Whitney DeSalvo (Wilmar, Arkansas) who ran a 6.95-second time. Helton and Moreno also defeated all-around contenders Martha Angelone (Cross Junction, Virginia) and Jackie Crawford (Stephenville, Texas), who are in a leaderboard slugfest for the all-around title and $20,000 cash bonus.
Angelone, the defending breakaway roping, continues to hold onto the all-around top spot with 24,513 points. A commanding lead over runner-up Rylie Smith (11,522 points) and Jackie Crawford (11,280 points).
The All-Around World Championship will be awarded based on total points earned from the combined pro and challenger leaderboards.
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 the Pro and Challenger classifications in the following disciplines: Team Roping (Heading and Heeling), Breakaway Roping, and Barrel Racing.
The WRWC is a culmination of a year-long race of women’s rodeo events worldwide. Each WRWC Event Champion will take home a minimum of $60,000, while the All-Around Champion will collect a $20,000 cash bonus.
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. Detailed advancement can be found here.
A complete tentative competition schedule of events is listed below:
|Noon CT||WRWC Round 1 (all except LB #1-10)|
|7:30 P.M. CT||WRWC Perf 1 (Top 10 from LB)|
|10:00 A.M. CT||WRWC Round 2|
|7:30 P.M. CT||WRWC Semi Finals|
|1:00 P.M. CT||WRWC Showdown Round & 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.
Tickets are on sale now and start at $20. They can be purchased at the Cowtown Coliseum Box Office or cowtowncoliseum.com.
The 2023 event is part of the inaugural Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week, the richest women’s-only week of competition in Western sports, held during the 2023 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Finals: Unleash The Beast. The week-long schedule of events is slated to pay out $1.145 million in prize money, affording more than 800 women’s competitors the chance to compete for life-changing payouts. The Women’s Rodeo World Championship Week will feature three marquee events, including the 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship, an NBHA (National Barrel Horse) one-day event, and The Cowgirl Gathering.
Since launching in May 2020, the WRWC has awarded more than $2.25 million in new money to women’s rodeo athletes. For more information about the WRWC, visit wrwc.rodeo.