The best cowboys and cowgirls in the world are competing at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, which began Dec. 6.
The top cowgirl competitors in the country will put their roping skills on display during the Rope for the Crown Breakaway Championship.
Breakaway roping is a fast event where the calf is roped, but not tied. The rope is attached to the horn by a light string and when the calf hits the end of the rope and breaks away from the horn, time is called.
Two Hollister cowgirls are competing in the Rope for the Crown event representing San Benito County.
Lilla Bell and Beth Hitchcock competed in the Last Chance Jackpot Dec. 7. Hitchcock placed 5th of out 80 girls in the jackpot and earned a spot in the Champions Dual on Saturday. The top 60 breakaway ropers in the world will be there.
“This competition is different from any other one because there are girls coming from all over the world,” Hitchcock said. Her game plan going into the competition is to stay positive and qualify for the main event.
Hitchcock, 14, said she didn’t start roping calves until she was in sixth grade, but in a short time she has won roping events and belt buckles along the way. This summer she even qualified for National Junior High Finals Rodeo in team roping.
Bell, 17, began roping calves when she was about ten and hasn’t stopped since. She has qualified for both the National Junior High Finals Rodeo and National High School Finals Rodeo.
Bell and Hitchcock are also expected to compete in a separate breakaway roping competition on Dec. 10.
“I look forward to competing in Las Vegas,” Bell said.
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