I've got a young girl roping with me right now, and she believes she will be the first girl to make the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in the heading. She really, truly believes it.
Every school I teach, every kid I encounter, has more confidence than I've ever seen in young women in the industry before. From where I sit, it's not just in rodeo. It's women in sports in general. And all that makes it an exciting time to be a teacher. These girls believe they can do it. They believe they can rope with the best of them, and that's the most important thing.
Women's roping is becoming a more and more competitive game, just like women's sports across the board. Women, young and old alike, have gotten where they rope so much better, and the competition is just so much tougher. The advancements in roping dummies, the increase in schools, and the added opportunities for women to compete at all levels have all contributed to giving girls the ability to rope tougher and tougher every year.
The World Series of Team Roping is a great example of the playing field being leveled. Their score gives women a really good opportunity to ride a good horse and have a good chance at winning big money. And it's been proven. In 2011, Michelle Rezzonico was the WSTR Finale's top money winner with $121,000, and she kept winning throughout 2012 and 2013. She's not the only one, women who ride good horses and rope well can compete with the guys in the World Series, and it's great for our sport.