Dolli Lautaret of Kingman, Arizona, passed away on Dec. 20, 2022, after an immense battle with cancer. Lautaret is mother to The Team Roping Journal’s much-valued contributor, Jolee Jordan, who speaks of Lautaret as a fierce and admirable competitor.
“She was very competitive but very kind,” Jordan said. “She had a big heart and she’d help anybody who asked for it … and, sometimes, when they didn’t.”
From Dressage to Team Roping
Lautaret was born a Kentuckian on Nov. 24, 1950, to an Air Force family. Twice in her childhood she lived in Germany, where she was trained by masters of dressage, stadium jumping, cross country and three-day eventing. Although young, she proved a competent study and was given the responsibility of training, too.
“Training was always a big part of who she was and what she did,” Jordan explained.
When the Air Force moved her family to Colorado, Lautaret necessarily assimilated into Western disciplines and, when she met her husband, Darrell—a bull rider and tie-down roper—she turned her talents toward the rodeo arena.
“They didn’t team rope a whole lot until they moved to Arizona,” Jordan said, since team roping had yet to take hold of Colorado prior to their move in the mid-’70s. “My dad was the one who taught her how to rope. He taught her how to swing and all the basics. He said her transition into roping was pretty smooth and short because she rode so well and had such a connection with her horses.”
Jordan notes that fellow ropers like three-time NFR qualifier Bret Beach helped Lautaret level up her roping skills, but she was a natural and focused competitor in the team roping, tie-down, breakaway and barrels. And she earned the awards to prove it. Lautaret is a two-time GCPRA All-Around Champ and won their year-end titles in each of her events, including most recently in 2017 in the barrels. She qualified for the Turquoise Circuit Finals and the WPRA Women’s World Finals on numerous occasions. In 2007, she was crowned the WPRA World Champion Heeler.
A Family Passion
Of all her accolades, however, Jordan suspects there is one of which Lautaret was most proud, though she hesitates to admit it.
“I think she’d say me,” Jordan offered. “She bragged on me a lot more than I probably needed.”
Indeed, for the Lautarets, rodeo has been a true family affair. The GCPRA long offered the entire family the chance to travel and compete together. Sometimes, it wasn’t always a winning proposition for everyone.
“We made the GCPRA Finals one year and you could only enter once,” recalled Jordan, who is also an NFR barrel racer. “Mom and I ended up roping together and dad picked up a partner, [and] he was close to winning the year-end deal. Mom and I missed our first steer and we were kind of like, ‘Oh, crud.’ We were trying to help. Our idea was to help play defense for him so he could win the year-end.
“We got it in our heads as the second go-round was unfolding, ‘We gotta beat them to keep them from beating dad.’” Jordan continued. “So, we blew out there and we were 5 or 6 and it was probably one of the best runs we’ve made, and it was really exciting. But, as it turned out, mom ended up winning the year-end instead of dad. We’ve laughed about that one for years.”
Dolli Lautaret: World Champion, Brilliant Horseman, “Bulldog”
Jordan is married to PBR rodeo judge Allan Jordan, who argues that his mother-in-law’s favorite memory is the day he joined the family. Jordan, who covered countless rodeo miles alongside her mom isn’t so sure, but she concedes that the two were cut from the same cloth. Meanwhile, Jordan and her dad endeared Lautaret with the nickname “Bulldog.”
“She’d be like, ‘You guys need to get more aggressive, and you need to swing harder and you need to kick more.’ And we’re like, ‘We know, we know. We need a little more hair of the dog. Like you.’”
In the wake of her mother’s passing, the rodeo community has left Jordan in awe.
“I think she’d be amazed at how many people said she touched their lives.”