RENO, Nev. – The $146,340 paid out on June 22 to the world’s best female ropers made the first-ever Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge in Reno, Nev., the highest-paying women’s roping of all time.
Ashley Moreau of Huntsville, Texas, roped three calves in 8.86 seconds to win the breakaway and $4,540, while fellow Texans Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl roped four steers in 33.69 seconds to win the team roping and $20,500 per woman. Crawford then claimed an additional $2,500 bonus as the first-ever Charlie 1 Horse All-Around champion.
“We don’t have things for girls like this!” said Moreau, 29, who owns a salon and boutique in Huntsville. “I could not be more excited. I don’t think I’ve ever won that much! Everyone at home has been watching the live stream all day, and blowing up my phone.”
Wrangler BFI Week, which kicked off in Reno on June 19 with the 40th Annual Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) and wrapped up with the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge, was live-streamed daily on www.wranglernetwork.com. Producers Ullman-Peterson Events not only expanded the annual All-Girl team roping to incorporate incentives for ladies with lower classifications and young girls, but also added a breakaway competition and all-around bonus.
The ladies were greeted with a welcome reception and Charlie 1 Horse gift bags. Each cowgirl also received a custom wine glass and bottle of merlot thanks to Purple Cowboy and the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” team-roping Wheatley family.
Crawford and Stahl were the high-call team in the short round – which was the exact same position Stahl was in a year ago with seven-time world champion Lari Dee Guy. In 2016, in the lead by seven seconds, Stahl had dallied on two feet and then watched her top wrap pop off the horn for a no-time.
“I was nervous all day,” she said. “Before this last one, I was about to puke after last year. I just had to breathe. I just sat there and prayed.”
Again, she needed only a 12-second run to win. Crawford and Stahl came tight on a smooth eight-second effort to win the roping by almost four seconds over Beverly Robbins and reigning WPRA world champion heeler Jessy Remsburg. Stahl then rode to a portion of the arena wall to give her winning Cactus rope to an excited little girl in the stands, and Crawford did the same with her Classic head rope.
“I appreciate these producers so much for the way they leave this roping Open, for those of us who take it seriously – it lets us show what we can do when they don’t cap classification numbers,” said Crawford, who is classified as a #6, while Stahl is a #7 heeler. “We’re always struggling to get better, and for producers to allow us to show what happens when good teams get together is great. I realize not all women do this for a living, but how good was this short round to watch?”
The win was also a timely confidence boost for Jackie, a 17-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) world champion from Stephenville who gave birth to her son, Creed, eight weeks before the roping.
“I’m sure I figured I’d come back easily, but when it came time to ride again, I realized, ‘This is going to take a minute!’” said Jackie, who’s married to eight-time NFR header Charly Crawford. “I’d asked Charly, ‘You think I’m ever going to get back good again?’ and he said I would. He told me after our first steer, ‘You and Annette are going to win the roping.’”
Jackie and Annette have won the Wildfire Ladies Open Championship in Texas twice together – but never the Reno roping, despite six or seven attempts.
“For both of us, this has eluded us,” Crawford said. “I was not going to beat myself this year. I told her, ‘Let’s just make some practice runs this morning.’ Then, when it came down to the short round, I said, ‘Let’s finish this!’”
Stahl and her husband, C.R., live and work on a ranch near Salt Flat, Texas – 65 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. The two often practice, and have six heel horses between them. In Reno, Annette rode her self-trained 14-year-old gelding, Rocky Mountain “Twister,” who won the “best heel horse of the roping” bronze from Montana Silversmiths, along with Jackie’s winner of the “best head horse” award, her buckskin Two Eyed Dobee (“Outlaw”).
“Annette is the baddest there is,”” said Crawford of her partner, who chooses to dally instead of use a tied-on rope. “You can literally put anybody in front of her and she’ll win.”
Reserve champion header Robbins, who earned $14,100 plus prizes on the day, has placed at the prestigious BFI with the boys and was even second-high callback at the BFI one year. She gave a nod of approval for the “great cattle” at the Charlie 1 Horse All Girl, and the new incentive that paid $5,000 for first place.
Wrangler BFI Week co-owner Kami Peterson, a recreational team roper herself, was the driving force behind the format tweaks.
“We wanted women coming all this way to be able to rope with their usual WPRA partners, and we also added the #8 and Youth incentives to provide an opportunity for young girls who maybe felt intimidated competing against the world champs,” said Peterson.
She also spearheaded the staggering prizeline, which rewarded ladies with Cactus saddles, ropebags and breastcollars, Charlie 1 Horse hats, Gist buckles, Best Ever pads, Yeti coolers, Heel-O-Matic Bones, Bex sunglasses, Nocona boots, Cactus and Fastback ropes, and more.
“I want to thank Ullman Peterson Events for putting on the best roping we’ve ever had the opportunity to rope at,” said Stahl. “The production was awesome; the prizeline was awesome. I just want to thank my Lord and savior and my family for all their support.”
In time for the afternoon breakaway competition, several elite cowboys in town for the Reno Rodeo grabbed a seat to watch the ladies. In the short round, Moreau had the fourth call-back, just .41 seconds behind leader Lari Dee Guy. Moreau got the flag in 2.72 seconds while Guy uncharacteristically missed. In the end, Moreau edged current WPRA breakaway world standings leader Kelsie Chace by just five-hundredths of a second for the win.
“I’ve never left my store for more than a few days before,” said Moreau, a Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) champion. “And we drove 26 hours, but we were pumped the whole time. It’s an all-girl!”
Chace, Guy, and Crawford each rode Crawford’s horse, T-Boy, in the breakaway, and the horse earned a collective $4,910. The 12-year-old sorrel is by Zan’s Diamond Shine, a stallion that Crawford and Guy had roped on while both training horses in Abilene. T-Boy is also Crawford’s tie-down roping horse, and has been headed on in Reno in the past.
“So many people can step on that horse; he’s easy to win on,” said Crawford, whose broken barrier on one calf prevented a fourth-place finish. She still won the short round, however. More importantly, she won the $2,500 bonus and prizes as the first-ever Charlie 1 Horse All-Around champion.
For more information about Wrangler BFI Week, visit www.bfiweek.com.
Photo Credit: Olie’s Images
Complete results from the 2017 Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge:
All-Girl Team Roping: First Round: 1. Beverly Robbins and Jimmi Jo Montera, 7.62 seconds, $1,500 (per team); 2. Lari Dee Guy and Jessy Remsburg, 7.98, $1,000. Second Round: 1. Rylea Rae Fabrizio and Lorraine Moreno, 6.21, $1,500; 2. Kayelen Helton and Kelsie Chace, 6.36, $1,000. Short Round: 1. Beverly Robbins and Jessy Remsburg, 7.61, $1,500. Average: 1. Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl, 33.69, $41,000; 2. Beverly Robbins and Jessy Remsburg, 37.57, $25,200; 3. Megan White and Whitney Salvo, 39.88, $14,700; 4. Bailey Corkill and Kera Washburn, 42.75, $10,500; 5. Rylea Rae Fabrizio and Debbie Fabrizio, 45.60, $7,350; 6. Keely Kirkman and Jillian Murray, 57.32, $4,200; 7. Taya McAdow and Bonnie Matlack, 33.23 seconds on three, $2,050. #8 Incentive: 1. Keely Kirkman and Jillian Murray, 46.35 seconds on four, $5,000; 2. Lynn Smith and Vivian Robinson, 20.31, $4,000; 3. Haley Bowen and Bailey Fullmer, 27.88, $3,000; 4. Tami Medlin and Katie Steele, 29.74, $2,000; 5. Marcie Neher and Hannah Solesbee, 32.86, $1,000. 18 And Under Incentive: 1. Haley Bowen and Bailey Fullmer, 27.88 seconds, $2,500.
All-Girl Breakaway: First Round: 1. Shawnee Sherwood, 2.38 seconds, $900; 2. Debbie Fabrizio, 2.47, $600. Second Round: 1. Taylor Engesser, 2.59, $900; 2. Lari Dee Guy, 2.65, $600. Short Round: 1. Jackie Crawford, 2.64, $900; 2. Janey Reeves, 2.70, $600. Average: 1. Ashley Moreau, 8.86 seconds on three, $4,540; 2. Kelsie Chace, 8.91, $3,410; 3. Suzanne Williams, 8.95, $2,260; 4. Ali Bilkey, 11.61, $1,130; 5. Rashell Hermann, 12.71, $600.
18 & Under Incentive: 1. Dally Goemmer, 21.29 seconds on three, $900.