WPRA Permit Race Winner
By Ann Bleiker
Waco, Texas—The 2017 WPRA World Finals were held once again in Waco, Texas at the Extraco Events Center. World Champions were crowned in all the roping events (all-around, breakaway, team roping - header and heeler, and tie-down roping), junior division and the futurity and derby division.
Kelsie Chace was the big winner in the roping pen winning her first two world titles in the all-around and the breakaway roping. Chace of Cherokee, Okla., easily walked away with the breakaway world title after winning $27,879 on the year. Her closest competitor was Taylor Engesser with $9,859. The all-around title was a little closer and came down to her performance in Waco. She outlasted her good friend and mentor Jackie Crawford for the title winning $6,996 to Crawford's $5,741. Chace won the average in both the tie-down roping and breakaway roping at the World Finals.
Hope Thompson and Whitney DeSalvo captured the team roping for the first time. Thompson adds this title to her breakaway world title won in 2013. This was DeSalvo's first. The duo won ever big event this year and finished the year with $29,875 (Thompson) and $45,283 (DeSalvo). Thompson missed part of the summer after she broke her leg but she was back in top form in Waco, as she and DeSalvo won the average in the team roping in a total time of 32.8 seconds on four head, outdistancing Lari Dee Guy and Annette Stahl with a 34.8.
Kari Nixon of Freedom, Okla., won her third title in the tie-down roping with $4,625 to Kelsie Chace's $4,039.
Laney Robinson repeated as the WPRA Junior World Champion, while Sharin Hall aboard Dreaming of Foose captured the Futurity 1D title, Lolita Long and Jagerita Lita the Futurity 2D title and Hilary Van Gerpen jockeyed Three Tymes A Lady to the Derby title.
Kelly Bruner - WPRA Card Holder Winner
Photo by PixelWorx
In addition to the world titles there was a hotly contested WPRA Card Holder race that counted toward 2018 World Standings as well as qualified the top two into RodeoHouston. Kelly Bruner won the average in a total time of 45.290 on three runs, while WPRA Rookie of the Year Taci Bettis finished second with a 45.312. In 2016, Tiany Schuster used this same race to move into No. 1 in the WPRA World Standings and never looked back. Schuster enters the 2017 Wrangler NFR with over $250,000, a new WPRA regular season earnings record.
Winning the $7,500 permit only race as Lydia Butler aboard Prime Time Tres with a total time of 46.155 on three runs. Butler and Prime Time Tres continued to get better throughout the weekend starting with a 15.637 in the first round to finish 11th, but then won the second round in a time of 15.375 and the short round in a time of 15.143. All totaled Butler easily filled her permit winning $3,301 in Waco.
A full recap of each world champion will in the December WPRA Magazine.