Breakaway Roping

New for 2021 at the Greatest Show on Dirt: Ladies Breakaway Roping! Cowgirls from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association will rope in rodeo’s fastest event!

Photo by Matt Cohen

The roper begins her run from a “roping box,” with a barrier rope across the open front. The box is adjacent to a chute containing the calf. One end of the barrier rope is looped around the calf and released as soon as the calf reaches its advantage point. If the roper beats the calf out of the chute, a 10 second penalty is added to the final time and considered a “broken barrier.”

Once the cowgirl throws her loop around the calf’s neck, she stops her horse immediately. Her rope is tied to the saddle horn with a breakaway string. When the running 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 goal is to throw a loop as quickly as possible, because fractions of a second will make the difference between winning and losing.

Ladies Breakaway Roping is sponsored by