HOUSTON – The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is host to hundreds of the top rodeo athletes in the world every March.
Tana Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., is one of those, earning her credentials to compete inside Reliant Park from March 7-9 through her three qualifications to ProRodeo’s grand finale, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. And she loves competing in RodeoHouston, where she will race around the cloverleaf pattern for a chance at the biggest regular-season events in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
“It’s always a great rodeo with a lot of great action,” said Poppino, a former marketing executive who transitioned from a part-time rodeo cowgirl to a full-time barrel racer in 2003. “It’s always fun to compete in an arena like Reliant Stadium.
“But what’s really fun to me is the fact that they have the best Cowboy Church. It’s great for me to be part of that, and it’s an experience I take with me all year long.”
Raised in southeastern Colorado, Poppino graduated from Panhandle State University, where she was part of the rodeo team. She and her husband, Marty, have raised their son, Brody, around rodeo; they’ve also shared their love of God.
“My faith is a very important part of my life,” she said. “I am who I am because of my faith.”