Moreno Makes Headlines With Team Roping Heeling World Title
By Kristen M. White
WPRA Photos by James Phifer
Lorraine Moreno didn’t always notice this season whether the team roping events she was going to were WPRA approved or not.
WPRA Photo by James Phifer, Rodeobum.com
But now that she’s got a shiny World Champion buckle, you can bet that she’ll be paying closer attention.
Moreno won the team roping heeling world title with $17,994 in winnings, outpacing Rylie Smith who had $12,245. The accomplishment of a world title was somewhat unexpected and very welcomed by Moreno, who calls herself a fierce competitor.
WPRA Photo by James Phifer, Rodeobum.com
“I wasn’t paying that much attention, just going to all girl ropings and whatever, but I guess I got lucky that I won ones that were WPRA approved!” she said with a laugh. “It was so exciting for me to be able to accomplish a goal that I’ve always worked at, and I want to continue to get more titles and be more well-known for roping.”
Moreno grew up roping. She learned from her dad, and was roping the dummy when she was small. She showed that she had a knack for the sport, winning her first saddle at age 6 and her first U.S. Roping title at age 9.
She’d been a header to start, but at around 12 she switched to heeling, saying she wanted more of a challenge. Her dad made the switch to header so she could work on heeling, and she continued to perform well in the new position.
She started WPRA events about three years ago and said she didn’t know much about them but when a friend asked her to rope with her, Moreno got her membership the day prior and then went in blind.
This year, Moreno started hot by winning the Patriot in Fort Worth in February, splitting a $20,000 payday with partner Bailey Gubert. Moreno also did well at the BFI, picking up more checks, and when the WPRA World Final rolled around, she was firmly in the driver’s seat for a potential world title.
“When I saw where I was ranked, I thought, okay, now I have a game plan to try and keep that lead. Win some rounds or an average check so I can continue to keep my money up there and win a world title,” she said.
The first round was tough. Moreno said their first steer went to the wall and she couldn’t get a rope on him. But the second and third rounds were better – she and Gubert finished third in the second round and tied for third in the third round. It left them fourth in the average and most importantly gave her the world title.
“It was so exciting!” she said. “I’ve never won a title before, so that was really exciting, to hit a goal that I’ve wanted. When I found out about the WPRA I told myself that I wanted to be a world champion.
“Now I’ll just continue practicing and going to ropings and we’ll continue to try and do the best we can. Pay attention to what is WPRA so we can keep going to those rodeos and be in the same position!”
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