Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl are no strangers to the roping industry and the winners' circle. But both ladies have failed to win one major all-girl bucket-list roping–until today. The legendary duo roped four-head in 33.69 seconds, each pocketing $20,500 at the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Challenge Team Roping in Reno, Nevada on June 22.
Kaitlin Gustave: So it was a great day to rope like a girl I’m assuming?
Annette Stahl: Oh yes! That’s now near correct. It was a great day to rope like a girl.
Jackie Crawford: I needed that—let me tell ya.
KG: This is the biggest All-Girl Roping payout to date. That’s pretty exciting to be able to rope for that kind of money.
AS: It’s very exciting to rope for that big of a payout. We’ve never had that opportunity in the all-girl ropings—it’s awesome. The producers and sponsors that contributed to make it happen did a phenomenal job.
JC: Oh my gosh, yes! You know, we do this a lot and I have not gotten that nervous when they announced how much that roping was going to pay. I got nervous and had to revert back to what I teach all my kids at my schools. You have to breathe and get your heart-rate down and all that. I’m like, ‘oh my gosh I'm in a foreign land right here’—I don't know what I'm doing. It’s just as cool as it can be, what they're doing for these girls out here. Like, Reno (Nev.) being an open roping and letting those girls go at it. In the short-go, those last five-to-six holes were as tough a roping as you can watch—so it was fun.
KG: How do you put aside any nerves before you rope if you have any?
AS: Oh man, I was nervous all day long. I just prayed—prayed and when I got to the box I could feel my heart racing and I just prayed and breathed. I made sure that I took big, deep breathes.
JC: A lot of it is, I do pretty good on nerves because I feel like I have a lot of confidence in my roping. That’s what I tell people, is nerves come from a lack of confidence a lot of times, so if you have a conviction in the practice pen the nerves will subside a lot. But when it comes to a certain point and the money gets high enough, those nerves will rise up and I think you just have to, you know for me, I just kind of talk to myself, breathe good to get my heart rate to a certain point and then I go back and picture myself. I pictured myself winning. I pictured myself hugging Annette. I pictured myself roping the crap out of that steer. You have to picture the good stuff and make that what you think about, not what would happen negatively and so just do all that and back in there and know you can only do what you can do. Getting nervous about it is not going to help so go do your part, do what you know how to do and other than that it’s probably going to play out how its going to go.
KG: What does this win mean for your career?
AS: I’m just very blessed. It’s the big roping that has eluded me that I’ve never been able to win and now I’ve won all of the major ropings that are older generation. You know, The Patriot’s new, I haven’t won it yet. But as far as all the bigger all-girl ropings that have been around a while it was the one that eluded me and I finally got to win it—it was awesome.
JC: Well this is one of the one’s that’s eluded me. Every single year I’ve never been able to win this roping so this was one of my bucket list ropings right here.
KG: Annette, last year you were in the same position coming into the short round with Lari Dee Guy and lost your rope to win it. Now, a year later you tie the knot and get it done with Jackie, how did you bounce back?
AS: That was just an unfortunate event that happened. In team roping, those things happen and it came back to me, I thought of it but it was just a bad memory and I just had to take it and set it aside and just think about what I was there to do and focus on the positive and what I wanted to do and not dwell on the past.
KG: Jackie, you and Charly just had a little boy, Creed, how is it like being a new mom? Are you going to use this money to stock up on diapers?
JC: Oh my gosh, YES! We needed some diaper money—let me tell you. I figured it up the other day and every time he opens his mouth up to eat its $3.66, so we needed some money. Little turkey!
KG: How did the day play out?
AS: We just took it one steer at a time. We had a good start. We started with an 8-second run and that’s where we wanted to be as far as running at the average. We just took it steer by steer, and we said we weren't going to beat ourselves. We were just going to knock them down and make good, average runs and make everyone else beat us. We didn't beat ourselves and that was the most important part of it.
JC: We literally just said that we were going to go make good practice-pen runs all day because we weren't going to go beat ourselves—that’s what we kept saying. We were not going to go beat ourselves–we were going to go make our runs and let it all fall together, and that's what we did. We were 16-seconds on two for the first two and we came back and made another good run. In the short round, shoot, we came back, we have 12-seconds to rope our short round steer because we had just been consistent and smooth all day so that’s what we did. We just made another smooth run.
KG: Were there any mistakes?
AS: Of course, every run you pick it apart. The third steer, I kind of reached around him and scared myself when I slowed it down, but it worked out. The short round steer, when I delivered I followed my slack for one second and panicked a hair but then I got it and got dallied. Other than that, nothing major. They were just good, smooth runs.
JC: The only thing that I thought that I could pick apart on myself is on our third steer. He was really light and I got his head and tried to be really light with him and when I did I kind of let him straighten-up across the pen instead of kind of bringing him back just enough every hop so he kind of went down the pen just a little bit and I had to bring him back in-front of Annette. He was just light and I was trying to be easy with him. Other than that everything was just exactly like you would just try to tell everyone, to go make a perfect run.
KG: What horse were you riding for this win and for the top Horse award?
AS: Twister, my good horse. He’s 14-years-old. I’ve had him since he was five and trained him.
JC: I rode Outlaw, my buckskin. He is 11-years-old.
KG: This year was the first year that you could enter twice in the team roping. Who else did you enter with?
AS: Lari Dee Guy. We got the first one down clean and had an unfortunate second steer—didn’t make it past him.
JC: I headed for Kim Grubbs. On our first steer I caught a neck and he just kind of followed us so he never really gave her a good shot at him and she missed him.
KG: Is there any advice that you would give to women ropers?
AS: Stay hooked. Work at it every day. Believe in yourself and trust God and work at it. Anything is possible.
JC: You know, don’t limit yourself. A lot of times people will try to tell you that you're a girl you need to rope a certain way or just go do this, but always push yourself. Just push yourself to be better than the next girl. Be better than who they say the best girl is. Push yourself. Don’t limit yourself because of ‘well, women have only accomplished this.’ Don't put yourself in that category. Everyone is different and every year a girl does something bigger and better, so why couldn't it be you?
AS: I just thank The Lord for the opportunity that I’ve been given and my family for their support.