World All-Around Champ Hope Thompson Crosses $200k Mark
By: Kendra Santos
The 2022 Women’s Rodeo World Championship World Champion All-Around Cowgirl could not be more aptly named—Hope. Hope 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 here at the $750,000 WRWC, which will wrap up tonight at Cowtown Coliseum with the Showdown and Triple Crown of Rodeo Rounds. With $207,200 in WCRA earnings alone, Hope is now the winningest rodeo athlete in the WCRA’s brief history. She’s already won $36,200 here at the May 16-18 WRWC, and has a shot at another $120,000 tonight should she strike in both the breakaway roping and team roping.
“The WCRA has been life-changing for rodeo athletes,” said Abilene, Texas cowgirl Hope T. “I give the WCRA credit for making everyone else raise the bar for women in rodeo, especially breakaway ropers. We were sneaking into big events and getting exposure, but not equal money. The WCRA put us on the same stage for the same money as all other rodeo athletes. The WCRA made everyone else step up to stay up.”
Thompson now owns six world titles. In the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, she’s won two heading championships, and one in the breakaway roping. Hope’s now added three WRWC titles—two in the heeling and the 2022 world all-around crown. She won the first championship in 2020 heeling for Riley Smith of Whitsett, Texas, and the two talented Texas women also are the 2022 WRWC Challenger champs in the tandem event.
If you’re curious, the team roping cut on the Pro versus Challenger divisions here at the WRWC is each roper’s classification number—Challengers are #4+ and lower, and Pros are #5 and above. In Hope and Rylie’s case, they roped as Pros with Thompson heading and Smith heeling, then switched ends and competed as Challengers with Smith heading and Thompson on the back side. They advanced to tonight’s Showdown Round both ways.
“Everyone always asks me if I like breakaway or team roping better,” said Hope, who last night was awarded a $20,000 bonus and Coats Saddle for the all-around, and a $5,000 bonus and buckle for the heeling title. “The answer is that whenever I’m roping, I’m happy. I love it all, so winning the all-around has been a big goal, and it means so much to me. The all-around is the most prestigious award in rodeo, so to win this against this amazing field of female rodeo athletes means everything to me.
“The day a girl can rope for a living is here—the WCRA is why. That I’ve won more than $200,000 at these events alone is unbelievable in one way. But on the other hand, it’s totally believable, because this opportunity is for real. And I get to rope at the chance for another $120,000 tonight? Are you kidding me?? The WCRA made this possible. None of us will ever forget that.”
Other world champions crowned Tuesday night here at the WRWC in Fort Worth included Pro Barrel Racing Champion Rainey Skelton of Llano, Texas; Challenger Barrel Racing Champion Jana Guthrie of Canton, Texas; Pro Heading Champion Bev Robbins of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Pro Heeling Champion Annette Stahl of Salt Flat, Texas; Pro Breakaway Roping Champion Martha Angelone of Stephenville, Texas; and Challenger Breakaway Roping Champion Rylie Edens of Hillsboro, Texas.