North Platte, Neb. – July 8, 2020 – Two local women will be competing in the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in August.
Bailey Brown, North Platte, and Katie Dent Mundorf, Mullen, will be in the breakaway roping, a new event to the North Platte rodeo.
In the breakaway, the cowgirl is on horseback in the box at the south end of the arena. She nods her head when she’s ready, and the calf is released from the chute. The cowgirl ropes the calf, stops her horse, and while the calf runs, the end of the rope, which is attached to the saddle horn, breaks away, signaling the end of the run. Good breakaway runs will be two or three seconds in length.
Brown, who is 22 years old, follows in the footsteps of her dad, Ray Brown, a long-time tie-down roper. She has been around the Buffalo Bill Rodeo since she was a youngster, hanging out in the crow’s nest as her grandma Dorothy Brown worked as a timer. Ray competed at the pro rodeo in North Platte for more than twenty years.
Both women excelled in the breakaway roping in high school rodeo. Mundorf won the Nebraska High School breakaway championship in 2002; Brown won it in 2015-2016.
At Hastings College, Mundorf played basketball, forgoing collegiate rodeo. Her thought was “you could rodeo forever but I have four years to see if basketball worked out.” For her, it did; Hastings College won national titles her freshman and senior years.
Breakaway roping was added to many rodeos across the nation last year and this year as well.
Mundorf said there’s an opportunity for women in pro rodeo to have a chance to make a living beyond the barrel racing. “For some women, this might be what they do. They train horses and rope. There’s the potential for this to be a career.”
It’s a job that Brown may consider. She will graduate from Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla.in December with a degree in business. “I considered roping and living the gypsy life for a while,” she said.
Mundorf ranches with her husband, Joe, north of Mullen. The couple has two children: a daughter, Abbigail, who is six, and a son, Tru, age four. If the breakaway roping had been part of pro rodeo when she went to college, she might not have played college basketball. “If this had been the climate when I was eighteen, and there was a future for women in rodeo other than the barrels, I don’t know if I’d have chosen basketball,” she said.
Breakaway will be one of eight events each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. The rodeo runs from August 5-8, starting at 8 pm each night. Tickets are general admission only and are $15 each. They are available at the NebraskaLandDays office, online at www.NebrasklandDays.com, and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call the office at 308.532.7939.