In an outdoor arena surrounded by city skyscrapers and dessert sand, the Nevada sun shone down on 60 of the top breakaway ropers in the world who would vie for the Crown, including Hamiota’s Stephanie Colli.
Colli qualified for Rope for the Crown in Las Vegas as a Canadian breakaway roping winner at events including Heartland Rodeo Association.
While she didn’t win the crown in Las Vegas, she finished in the top 15 on two of three rounds. Her trip to the Dec. 8 weekend of competition has taught her a lot and given Colli a clearer vision for her future.
“To rope top 15 in two of three rounds, against the best in the world has been amazing. To be a part of history in the making with the first ever Woman’s Breakaway Roping World Championship is a memory I will never forget!”
As the mounted competitors entered the ring for the opening ceremonies, the announcer from Missouri said, “There’s one thing that our sport has been lacking when it comes to the ladies’ events – the breakaway roping. But, this event has been created to crown the world champion.”
Colli’s friends and sponsors are proud of her and she acknowledged how important all that Manitoba support was, including from her own family and roping off of the talented Spider Man owned by Scott Peters.
She was disappointed by a missed opportunity in her second round.
“It wasn’t exactly the weekend I was hoping for, I scooped a leg in the first round to sit sixth, had a tough draw in the second round and finished 11th in the last round.”
But, this was an “amazing experience” for the Manitoba roper, making new connections in the world of breakaway roping and competing against professional female ropers.
“To know that I can compete at that level makes me so proud of the group of breakaway ropers in the Heartland Rodeo Association. We have a lot of talent in Manitoba and I do think we will see a world champion come out of Manitoba in the future.”
Colli said she learned a lot about herself – “to believe and trust myself, my horses, my program and my abilities and to keep dreaming big, because dreams do come true.”
With what she has learned this year, she’s prepared and has a burn to Rope for the Crown in 2019.