Roping’s Richest Woman: Jayme Marcrum Tops the Charts
Jayme Marcrum—a legacy member of the Ariat World Series of Team Roping—is the sport's winningest female roper.
Jayme Marcrum
Jayme Marcrum | Jennings Photography

Roping’s Richest Woman Jayme Marcrum has won $346,893 in the 16 years that the Ariat World Series of Team Roping has been in existence—more than any other woman in the sport’s history. 

The 58-year-old Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee is a breakaway roping legend, but she’s made her mark on the head side in team roping through the World Series. The World Series’ quick start (similar to the start Marcrum perfected in the breakaway) paired well with Marcrum’s horsemanship and roping-industry friendships to combine for big results when the money was up.

Jayme Marcrum – Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame from Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame on Vimeo.

“It’s been life changing for me,” Marcrum said. “I’ve had two or three pretty good wins as the years have gone on. Each time I’ve had a goal that I’ve come home and wanted to improve my place and spend my money on. It’s fit my plan.”

Marcrum’s Ariat World Series of Team Roping ‘Legacy’

Jayme Marcrum
Jayme Marcrum at an Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale | Jennings Photography

Marcrum was at the first World Series held in Salado, Texas, so she’s been counted as a legacy roper ever since. 

“The World Series has been great for the women,” Marcrum said. “Sometimes it’s easier for a woman to start out roping steers because it takes a lot to start out in the breakaway and rope as fast as you have to now. More guys in the neighborhood team rope, so you can start locally. Women can rope in the #7, the #8.5, the #9.5, all the way up as high as they want.”

Marcrum has been roping her whole life, and before the handicapping system came out in 1990s, had to rope against the best Open ropers of her era. 

“I remember roping against Charles Pogue and Rich Skelton in college,” Marcrum laughed. “You just had to rope in the Open, and now women can get started and not need to be intimidated or discouraged by that.”

Marcrum’s most memorable win came in 2011 with her best friend Martha Lynn Walters, placing in the #10. 

“I had a nice bay mare Martha’s husband trained,” Marcrum remembered. “We sold her to Bobby Boyd in Midland, and he asked if I needed to ride her in Las Vegas, but I said no. I had a breakaway horse I’d ridden for 10 years and won so much on. I rode him at two team ropings that year—one to win $7,000 at Salado and one toplace at the Finale. Martha is my best friend, so it was special to win with her and to win on that horse.”

Marcrum will be in Las Vegas again, entered from the #13.5 on down to the #8.5 (where she’ll again rope with her best friend Martha).  

Other Greats

While Marcrum’s earnings are absolutely impressive, she isn’t an outlier, necessarily. LaRae Branham—daughter of other World Series legend Earl Higgins—has won $344,222.60. Anna Gregory, who won the 2012 Finale, has $29,6382.15 in earnings, while Kayelen Helton has $271,676.80 to her name from WSTR events. California’s Nora-Lee Hunt rounds out the top five with $261,580.

What is Women In Rodeo Month?

The Team Roping Journal, Barrel Racing Magazine and The Breakaway Roping Journal came together to celebrate the inaugural Women in Rodeo Month in September 2022. With the help of title sponsor Durango, Women in Rodeo Month focuses on legendary women who have made rodeo what it is today, as well as showcasing the current women in rodeo who continue to push the sports forward.

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