A new rodeo event will make its debut in Abilene for the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in August.
According to rodeo organizers, women’s breakaway roping will be held during the rodeo August 1-4.
The breakaway roping is a modified version of the tie-down roping.
In the breakaway, the cowgirl is on horseback in the box at the north end of the arena. She nods her head when she’s ready, and the calf is released from the chute. The cowgirl ropes the calf, stops her horse, and while the calf runs, the end of the rope, which is attached to the saddle horn, breaks away, signaling the end of the run. Good breakaway runs will be two or three seconds in length.
It’s fast paced, said Matt Farson, rodeo committee chairman, which makes it appealing to rodeo fans. The breakaway ropers are very good at their discipline, he said. “When a cowgirl can nod her head (to start the run) and go 25 miles per hour on horseback in less than two seconds, that’s talent. I’m a rancher, and we rope, to doctor cattle, and boy I’d love to be able to catch one in two seconds. It’d make life a lot easier,” he laughed.
PRCA rodeos began adding breakaway roping in 2017. It has been an event in high school and college rodeo competition for years.
The breakaway “is quick, it’s fast, and it’s eye-appealing,” Farson said. “It’s a big deal.”
The Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo takes place August 1-4 with performances nightly at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online at WildBillHickokRodeo.com, at West’s Country Mart and other area retailers, and at the gate. They are $10 in advance and $13 at the gate. Children’s tickets are $7 for ages 4-10. For more information, visit WildBillHickokRodeo.com
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The Abilene rodeo will add women’s breakaway roping to the rodeo this year. Its fast pace and show of horsemanship makes it appealing to fans. This year’s rodeo is August 1-4 at the Central Kansas Free Fairgrounds. Photo by Don Christner.