She’s back, y’all. Sitting at No. 8 in the standings as September draws to a close, breakaway star Joey Williams is poised to qualify for her second consecutive trip to Las Vegas for the National Finals Breakaway Roping. The Top 15 breakaway ropers will compete for prize money of $250,000 during the two-day, 10-round performance.
After what she calls a “slow start” in the winter, Williams caught fire over the summer with Lone Star Ropes' Pink Caddy in hand. She hovered around the top-15 through August - until winning the overall average with 7.2 seconds on three head at the Ellensburg Rodeo in September. Though she didn’t begin the season the way she wanted, Williams never gave up hope to return to the NFBR.
“I kept telling myself I have a lot more money than I did this time last year,” she says. “I know that anything can happen. I just stayed optimistic about it.”
Williams entered her first NFR ranked 14th in the world before finishing the year 10th. She grabbed the fastest time of the Finals in the fourth round - 1.7 seconds. She also won the eighth round in 1.8 seconds and tied for the win in the second round with 2.4 seconds.
Competing professionally in breakaway is a dream come true for Williams. Up until a few years ago, the event had been only for women in high school, college, and amateur rodeos. Women in professional rodeo only competed in barrel racing at PRCA rodeos. But then, at the 2020 National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Arlington, Texas, women ropers competed for the first-ever world championship.
In college, Williams was named All Around Cowgirl in the Great Plains Region Inter-Collegiate Rodeo and took the title in breakaway at the College National Finals Rodeo in 2012.
Ten years later, she’s got a shot at winning another title, this time as a pro.
“Thankfully, I hit a hot streak,” she says. “All I wanted was to get back in the thick of it.”