Abliene, Texas' Hope Thompson, former World Champion Breakaway Roper, is in the hunt for her first Women's Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Team Roping Header title. Thompson, just two months after having surgery, headed home after the Dodge City (Kan.) Days jackpot on Aug. 6 after banking $2,195 despite her broken leg.
"What happened was, and I mean it's a joke for Jackie (Crawford) and I, we were joking about it," said Thompson. "I said, 'Heck, I have to go all the way to Kansas with a broken leg because you're trying to beat me.' But that's true, that's why I had to go otherwise I wasn’t released to rope or anything."
Thompson headed for Jessy Remsburg, Whitney DeSalvo and Kelsie Chace. Thompson and Remsburg took home the number-one spot with an accumulative time of 33.02-seconds to pocket $1,570 each. Thompson also placed third with Kelsie Chace after stopping the clock with a total of 35.02 seconds to take home $625 each. Thompson now brings her total world standing earnings to $27,195 while Crawford holds the number-2 spot with $22,487 won.
"Jackie says she doesn't think she can catch me now," added Thompson. "We gave each other so much heck of her trying to beat me and I said, 'You're making me rope with a broken leg because you're trying to beat me.' It was a big joke but the cool thing is that she was my main threat and the reason I was even there but she was also one of my biggest supporters there. She checked on me after every run and made sure I was okay. She told me I was going to do great—she supported me and that was really cool."
Thompson's trusty horse, Zena, was crippled when she got back to the Guy Ranch, so she jumped on-board Lari Dee Guy's 10-year-old bay mare named Letty.
"I came home and my horse was crippled," Thompson lamented. "Lari Dee gave me her horse and I got on and immediately I cried. I thought there's no way I can do this. It hurt--my foot wouldn’t go in the stirrup the right way. I didn't have any balance. There's just no way I can do it so I was so disappointed. Then Lari Dee talked me through it. She's like, 'We'll figure it out. Even if you can't go this weekend just try to ride.' She adjusted my stirrup to a stirrup that fit better and I actually ended up getting to rope a couple that day with her before I went. My horse still wasn’t sound so I still took her horse up there and that’s how it all unfolded."
A friend of Thompson's built her a stirrup that she could fit her walking boot in when she rode, which ended up being a little too big to where her boot would slide right through. Guy then found one of her father, Larry Guy's stirrups, which then ended up being the perfect fit for Thompson's needs.
"I think that was my main concern and I think that's why I was so nervous—just anything happening," she said. "I wasn’t released. I had only been putting weight on my leg for about four or five days. The doctor told me that the strength of my leg was compared to the leg of a one-month old baby."
As all injuries usually unfold, Thompson attends physical therapy twice a week to help regain strength in her leg. She will sit tight until the WPRA Finals at the end of October, where she will compete in the team roping, heading and heeling and the breakaway roping events.
"It will just come down to the finals," Thomson explained. "So, for now I'm just going to play golf and do therapy. Those are my new hobbies—physical therapy and golf."