Sports & Recreation

California’s Richest All Girl Roping honors memory of late Paicines resident

Haleigh Grant of Santa Maria wins Blaire Strohn Fast Time Memorial Buckle.

Arena dirt flew and ropes sailed through the air as some of the fastest women in the sport of rodeo went head-to-head in California’s Richest All Girl Roping at Bolado park on Aug. 6-7. Attracting athletes from across the state, the event consisted of an open jackpot team roping, calf branding, line sorting, breakaway roping, and all girl team roping. 

While all elements of the event bore substantial significance, the breakaway roping held a particular importance to San Benito County as it paid homage to the late community member, BenitoLink writer and rodeo contestant Blaire Strohn. 

For the second consecutive year, the all girl roping honored Strohn with the Blaire Strohn Memorial Fast Time buckle, awarded to the breakaway roper with the fastest individual run throughout the day. The memorial buckle was sponsored by Brennan and Stacy Porteur of B and S Supply and made by AR Buckles in San Ynez. 

“She was just such a loss in our community. She was so loved by so many people and I wanted to keep her memory alive,” said Danielle Porteur-Johnson, event founder and Hollister native. “If you thought you had your event won and she was coming behind you, she was going to take that fast time away from you. I thought it was just fitting to have a buckle in her memory.” 

With a widely talented field of 56 women competing in this year’s breakaway roping, the race for both the fastest time of the day and the overall was tight. 

“The girls go at it when they’re here to get that fast time so it makes it fun and entertaining for everybody else,” said Porteur. “I know she’d be upstairs just getting a kick out of this and loving it.” 

This year’s Blaire Strohn Memorial Fast Time buckle went to Haleigh Grant, 17, of Santa Maria with a 2.4-second run. 

“I’m really honored,” said Grant. “I’m super excited that I was able to rope well today, get good calves, and be able to win this buckle.”

Breakaway roping is a timed event where contestants rope a calf out of a chute at the end of the arena. The rope is attached to the participant’s saddle by a nylon string or piece of cloth and the timer stops when that string or cloth breaks free of the saddle. 

California’s Richest All Girl Roping was founded in 2015 by Porteur and Jackie Hobbs Crawford in an effort to increase the popularity and level of competition within breakaway roping. The event has earned a spot as one of the largest and most highly acclaimed breakaway roping events on the West Coast. Porteur also credits Susan and Jade Ynzunza for their active involvement in the running of the roping itself and the publicizing of the Blaire Strohn Memorial Buckle. 

Several San Benito County residents placed notably in the weekend’s various events, as can be seen in the results listed below.

 

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Jenna Fields