The High Desert Stampede Rodeo is back at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond Wednesday morning. Local competitors have put in the work and are ready for the show.
“I’m out here every day,” said Sami Jo Cardoza of Terrebonne. “Sometimes, I don’t practice breakaway roping. I might practice barrel racing, and we might do something else, but out here every day doing something.”
Cardoza and Trish McCoin are both from Terrebonne and have been riding and roping all their lives. Both will compete in breakaway roping, a growing sport.
“Just where you rope the calf, and the string is tied to the end of your rope that’s tied to the saddle horn,” said McCoin. “So when you rope the calf, the string actually pops off your saddle horn, and then after your time, stop.”
“I love our breakaway roping,” said Cardoza. “I’ve done it forever, and it’s really gotten popular the last few years, which I thought it was always popular, but it’s just really, come on, and it’s fun to see everybody. Seventy girls entered the limited it, and it’s 70, and that’s cool.”
A challenging event. The average time to catch the calf is around two seconds, an even harder event to win.
“There’s a lot to it,” McCoin said. “You know, even for somebody like me, that’s just roped all my life. I feel like I still struggle with the mental game part of it and then just, you know, not being able to practice as much as I would like. It’s tough, and I mean, you got to stay with it at all times.”
“Everybody works at it,” Cardoza said. “Everyone, no one enters and doesn’t work at it. So it’s really nice when you actually do good, and you’ve worked so hard for it, and then it pays off.”
Wednesday features Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding as well as Women’s Professional Breakaway Roping all night.
The show continues through Saturday. You can find a full schedule and ticket information at this link.