Calling all cowgirls, in 2018 the Red Bluff Round-Up added female ropers to its list of events at the Tehama District Fairgrounds. Breakaway roping is sanctioned by the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association (WPRA). It features one cowgirl and one calf and is similar to tie-down roping.
The cowgirl waits in a box at the south end of the arena and gives a head nod when she and her horse are ready. Calves are given a head start when released from the chute. The cowgirl ropes the calf, stops her horse immediately and her rope breaks away from the saddle horn as the calf hits the end of the rope.
The goal is to throw a loop as quickly as possible. If the cowgirl's horse leaves the box too soon, a barrier breaks and a 10-second penalty is added to her time. A good breakaway run is about two to three seconds in length and even a fraction of a second will make the difference between winning and losing.