Getting to Know Roper Whitney DeSalvo, Springfield, Ark.
DeSalvo is an up-and-coming top female roper.

Number and End:

I’m a 5 header and a 6 heeler.

Association of Preference:

I guess I’d have to say the World Series. I’m just now old enough to rope at them. Mike Cullum and I won the #11 division at the first one I went to. I’m not going to rodeo as much this year, there’s a lot more money team roping. I’ve roped more steers this year than I ever have.

Rope of Choice:

I use all Cactus Ropes. I love the Game Changer.

Your Favorite Roping:

I love the Wildfire. I think that’s a really good one to go to. That and Reno (Reno Rodeo Invitational) would probably be my two favorites. I don’t think I’ve done much good at either one, but I do love going to them. Maybe this is my year!

Best Horse You Ever Ridden:

The one I’m riding now is probably the best I’ve ever had. It’s a bay mare I call Speck. She came from Brandon and Lori Thone. She’s 11 this year and just super broke. You can put her wherever. She gives me a good throw every time. Before her I had another mare, a blue roan I called Miss Kitty that came from Will Woodfin. That mare helped me get where I felt like I could really heel. She was just awesome but had to be put down after a bad accident.

Biggest Win:

Probably my first All-Girl win at the Charlie 1 Horse “Cowgirls Only.” That’s always been a big deal to me. It’s a pick one draw one and I won it with Kayelen Helton as a draw partner. We rope together a lot now.

Why You Rope:

My mom roped. Ever since I can remember it’s just always what I’ve done. I’ve always loved it. I roped at my first rodeo when I was 8. I never get tired of it. I like getting to ride different horses and start some of my own and seeing what I can do with them. I like to see how much I can improve myself every day. 

Competition Philosophy: 

I just try and keep it pretty simple. You don’t want to do too much. I have two main things. If I’m going to heel I don’t really think about anything else but where to be down the arena and around the corner. If my position is good everything falls into place. If I’m going to rope calves the thing I think about most is the start. Same thing, if I get that right it just kind of falls into place. 

Roping Goals: 

It’s been my goal for a long time to be one of the best girl heelers going. There’s a handful for sure that are going to be hard to beat but I’m just trying to work toward that. I have a couple of ropings picked out that I’d really like to win. I was high call this year in the Cruel Girl roping at the US Finals. We had to be a 9.1 and were a 9.3 and finished second. The year before we were fourth or fifth high call and finished second or third. So that’s one I’d really like to win. 

Tell me about your Real Job:

I finished four semesters at Cossatot Community College in Arkansas where I was on the college rodeo team. I’m taking this year off until I figure out where I want to go next. I just worked out a deal with Shay Carroll to help him for a month or so. I’ll get to stay in Texas for a while and I’m pretty pumped about that!

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