GROESBECK, Texas – Over the course of her career, Jackie Hobbs Crawford is one of the most decorated female ropers in rodeo.
The thing is, she’s just as capable as about any man in the world of team roping. That’s why she is expecting to be one of the many talented ropers who will be part of the Wild West Championships, set for May 23-26 at the Limestone County Fairgrounds in Groesbeck.
Now in its second year, the Wild West Championships will be a three-day roping and rodeo extravaganza. It will feature six numbered ropings, which serves as a handicapping system for the sport. The organizers also have included in the schedule an all-girls roping. It all adds up to an attractive competition for Crawford.
“It’s super important,” she said. “There are only so many ropings a year, so we try to make all that we can. If they’re co-sanctioned with the WPRA, it’s even more important.”
The all-girls roping will be co-sanctioned with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, and money earned will count toward the 2014 world standings. Hobbs owns several WPRA world championships, and she’d like to add to the stack.
But that won’t be the only roping in which she will compete. If the schedule allows, look for Crawford in the Nos. 13, 12, 11 and 10.
“A lot of times, I enter the higher numbered ropings in the heading, then I heel in the 10-11,” she said.
Versatility is her trademark. In addition to both sides in team roping, Crawford also competes in tie-down roping and breakaway roping.
“Roping is something that was put in me a long time ago and has become a real passion of mine,” Crawford said. “You’re constantly learning. It’s a constant challenge.”
It takes quality horsemanship to succeed at a high level, she said, but there also is something that sets the elite apart. Crawford has it.
“I really feel like a long time ago, my mom put a work ethic in me to never settle, to never make excuses,” she said. “I feel like that has really pushed me past the point to be successful.
“If I’m not working at this, someone else is. When I meet that person, they’re going to beat me.”
Crawford will put her work ethic, horsemanship and talent on the line during the four days of competition over Memorial Day weekend in Groesbeck. The fans will be the beneficiaries.
“The women’s level of roping has stepped up dramatically, and I think the fans will see that,” Crawford said. “There will be some talented ladies and some good roping. It should be some good watching.”