Female ropers have been beating the odds and changing the game at a rapid pace. These ropers have mounted themselves on higher caliber horses and built insane strength with their ropes. It is nothing to watch a #15 or #13 roping and see females roping with the best. All girl ropings are a prime example of this. Typically, in years past, stopping the clock on four steers would earn you a check. This past year if ropers weren’t twenty-five to thirty seconds on three steers they weren’t even in the top fifteen call backs to the short round. This is a true sign of the amount of talent and skills these girls have developed. I spoke with one of the top female heelers, Whitney Desalvo. This past year she has won the Wildfire Open to the World All Ladies Roping, The Patriot All Girl, and is sitting first in the Cinch Ladies Standings. She has really honed in her skills and competes with some of the best males and females in ropings and college rodeos.
BH: How did you improve yourself and your roping to be able to compete in both all girl settings and in ropings against higher numbered males?
Whitney Desalvo: I try to practice a little differently for the regular jackpots than I do for the all girls. Even though the all girl ropings are getting tougher now days, they are still usually where the team who ropes the smartest wins. They are more of a catching game. I feel guys are a lot less conservative than women. So therefore, the times in the World Series ropings or USTRC ropings are going to be a lot faster. I want to be able to just go catch but also be able to go fast when its necessary.
BH: What is your favorite all girl roping?
Whitney Desalvo: I think the Wildfire is probably my favorite. It was a cool setup getting to rope alongside the open, and of course going up on the wall!
BH: What is your opinion on why female ropers are progressing so fast now days? And what can help them to continue to improve?
Whitney Desalvo: I started going to All-Girl ropings when I was 14. Then you could rope 3 legs and probably win the roping. Now you have to be pretty sharp. You can’t bobble much and still win first. It’s awesome to see how many girls have stepped the game up the past few years! I would say to set goals. Not to be the best girl roper, but the best roper you can be. Always be open for advice and always try to pick the brain of someone who is above you. There is a reason they are up there don’t hesitate to find out!
BH: Where do you see the future of female ropers? Do you see a possibility of more females in the PRCA and in the future the NFR?
Whitney Desalvo: There is a lot of talent out there these days. We’ve already seen Jackie qualify for the semi-finals twice. I feel like anything is possible!
It is undeniable how far female ropers have come and how far they will continue to go. They have completely blown away the ceiling of potential for female ropers. When watching the field of talent out there in female ropers you really can’t help but smile and feel so inspired.