WACO, TEXAS – World Titles were handed out over the weekend at the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas, in the roping division, futurity and derby division and junior division.
Taking home her fourth consecutive team roping heeling world title was Whitney DeSalvo. DeSalvo of Springfield, Arkansas, has become a force to be reckoned with on all levels in the team roping. She won the title with partner Hope Thompson, who collected her second team roping title to go with her previous breakaway title (2013) bringing her total to three WPRA World Titles. DeSalvo’s first world title came in 2017 with Thompson, then the past two years in 2018 when Lari Dee Guy won the heading title and in 2019 Beverly Robbins claimed the heading title.
DeSalvo finished the year with $35,172 in earnings to reserve world champion Annette Stahl’s $22,728. Thompson captured the title with $33,307 in earnings compared to reserve world champion Lari Dee Guy with $29,132.
Kelsie Chace and Jackie Crawford took home the WPRA World Finals Average Title stopping the clock in 22.7 seconds on three head.
The young roping phenom Gracie Gambino won back-to-back world titles in the tie-down roping. The 18-year old from Lindale, Texas, finished the year with $7,403 in earnings to reserve world champion Tanegai Zilverberg’s $7,393. Gambino won the second round in a time of 15.1 seconds, was third in the third round in a time of 26.7 and was fourth in the average with a time of 141.8 seconds on three head. Zilverberg easily won the average title in a time of 55.3 seconds after placing in all three rounds.
With the evolution of the women’s breakaway roping within the WPRA at ProRodeos and the fact that in 2020 breakaway earnings were calculate for ProRodeos only as well as co-approved events only the landscape of the world title also changed. Money won at the WPRA World Finals this year were added to the co-approved event standings like in years past but the member with the most money in those standings this year was honored with the National Champion title versus the normal World Champion status.
JJ Hampton, a 17-time WPRA World Champion, took home the title with $87,973 in earnings to reigning world champion’s Kelsie Chace’s $81,812. Hampton, who has qualified for the inaugural National Finals Breakaway Roping (NFBR), now has the opportunity to not only win a national championship in 2020 in breakaway but also a world title. What an historic year it would be if Hampton is able to accomplish this feat.
The WPRA Breakaway Roping World Champion starting in 2020 will be based on the ProRodeo only standings and will be crowned following the Wrangler National Finals Breakaway Roping similar to how the WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer is determined following the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Rookie Rylie Smith of Whitsett, Texas, took home the breakaway average title at the WPRA World Finals with a three head time of 8.2 seconds.
While Chace will be unable to add another breakaway world title to her resume in 2020, as she didn’t qualify for the NFBR, she did win her third all-around WPRA World Title outdistancing Gambino. Chace, who previously won the title in 2012 and 2017, finished the year with $7,870 in all-around earnings compared to Gambino’s $7,699.
Futurity and Derby World Champions Named
The first WPRA World Title awarded over the weekend was in the Futurity Division.
Molly Otto and Teasin Dat Guy captured the WPRA Futurity 1D title after collecting a total of 412.5 points on the year. Otto of Grand Forks, N.D., outdistanced Margaret Jones and Smooth Operraider who finished with 367.5 points.
Bailey Webb-Olson and VR Jojo Wood Pay of Hugo, Minnesota, won the 2D World Championship title finishing the year with 145 points to Ashley Day and Driftin Little Lena’s total of 95 points. Webb-Olson was in the driver’s seat going into to the WPRA World Finals and added to her final point total with a fourth place finish in the second round in a time of 17.564 seconds.
Although Margaret Jones missed out on the Futurity World Title she didn’t go home empty handed as she and Shes Packin Dynamite took home the WPRA World Title in the Derby Division. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Ima Famous Babe, a horse she plans to run next month at the Wrangler NFR in Arlington, took home the Derby World Finals Average Title in a time of 31.278 seconds on two runs. Kassie Mowry and Famous Ladies Man was a close second in a total time of 31.400.
Junior World Champion Named
London Gorham of Cotulla, Texas, captured her first WPRA Junior World Title with $31,365 in earnings for 2020. Casey Mathis of Washoe Valley, Nevada, finished as the reserve world champion with $16,874. Mathis aboard SH Stylish and Sly won the first round of the Junior race at the WPRA World Finals in a time of 15.981 seconds and would finish second in the second round in a time of 16.064 seconds.
WPRA Card Holder and Permit Only Race
Top WPRA horse trainer Kassie Mowry aboard Famous Ladies Man won the WPRA Card Holder race with a total time of 47.136 seconds. 2020 WPRA Rookie of the Year Paige Jones was hot on her heels in a time of 47.199 seconds. As a result, both ladies have earned a spot in RodeoHouston in March, as long as the event happens.
Kylee Scribner turned in the fastest time of the weekend during the second round of the card holder race stopping the clock in a time of 15.345. Scribner would end up third in the average in a total time of 47.276 seconds. All money won during this race was applied to their 2021 ProRodeo standings.
Taking home the title in the WPRA Permit-Only race was Jordan Driver in a time of 48.428 seconds. Driver aboard French Rivierra won the second round in a time of 15.970 seconds and collected a total of $3,036 in Waco to easily fill her permit and can now compete on as a WPRA Rookie in 2021.
Complete results can be found at http://www.elitebarrelracing.com/htdocs/results.html and full recaps on all races will appear in the January 2021 edition of the WPRA News.