As I sat late on a Friday afternoon finalizing all of this issue, an email hit my inbox outlining the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s awards for 2021. That email announced our long-time contributor and my long-time friend, Julie Mankin, as the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association media professional award winner—an honor so well deserved I will find trouble explaining it to you here.
You see, Julie was (and really still is) a top-tier talent in the rodeo arena from Wyoming, with accolades from every level of the game, from junior rodeo on up. But like any good WYO girl, Julie went to the University of Wyoming and got a degree in journalism. Without the modern-day breakaway opportunities that she writes about now, she chose a career over the cowgirl life, and she’s been in this industry ever since. She’s worked for the PRCA and every major publication in the business, and we’ve been lucky to have her for the better part of two decades. She knows team roping and breakaway through and through, and she’s as good with the written word as Lari Dee Guy is with a breakaway rope.
So when we started The Breakaway Roping Journal in September of 2020, we effectively doubled Julie’s workload (and the rest of ours, too). She’s kept up her TRJ contributions while being able to shine a light on the lesser-told stories of the benefactors of the breakaway movement, and I like to think it shows in her writing that she’s had fun doing it. The WPRA picked her for her tireless efforts telling the stories of the women of the association, and we’re so glad to be the vehicle for her work.
While she won the WPRA media award for her coverage of the ladies, you’ll find that her work on the cowboys of the PRCA is just as good, and her feature “Brotherly Bonds” appears on page 74. It’s alongside the works of senior editor Kendra Santos and myself this month in the features, and for that, we’re so grateful.