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Breakaway roping added to 2020 Buffalo Bill Rodeo

The event will be held at the rodeo for the first time
Katie Mundorf, of Mullen, NE, competes in the breakaway roping event at the Sutherland Fourth of July Rodeo. She finished tied for fourth with a time of 2.6 seconds (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)
Katie Mundorf, of Mullen, NE, competes in the breakaway roping event at the Sutherland Fourth of July Rodeo. She finished tied for fourth with a time of 2.6 seconds (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)(KNOP)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:24 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Bailey Brown, of North Platte, and Katie Dent Mundorf, of Mullen, will be competing in breakaway roping in the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte in August, a new event for the rodeo.

In the event, the competitor starts on horseback in the box, with a calf released from the chute. The competitor stops, ropes the calf, stops the horse, and the end of the rope, which is attached to the saddle horn, breaks away to signal the end of the run.

Both women excelled in breakaway roping in high school rodeo. Mundorf won the Nebraska High School breakaway championship in 2002; Brown won it in 2015-2016.

At Hastings College, Mundorf played basketball, forgoing collegiate rodeo. Her thought was “you could rodeo forever but I have four years to see if basketball worked out.” For her, it did: Hastings College won national titles her freshman and senior years.

Breakaway roping was added to many rodeos across the nation last year and this year as well.

Mundorf said there’s an opportunity for women in pro rodeo to have a chance to make a living beyond the barrel racing. “For some women, this might be what they do. They train horses and rope. There’s the potential for this to be a career.”

Brown will graduate from Panhandle State University in Goodwell, OK in December with a degree in business. “I considered roping and living the gypsy life for a while,” she said.

Mundorf ranches with her husband, Joe, north of Mullen. The couple has two children: a daughter, Abbigail, who is six, and a son, Tru, age four. If the breakaway roping had been part of pro rodeo when she went to college, she might not have played college basketball. “If this had been the climate when I was eighteen, and there was a future for women in rodeo other than the barrels, I don’t know if I’d have chosen basketball,” she said.

Breakaway will be one of eight events each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. The rodeo runs from August 5-8, starting at 8 p.m. each night. Tickets are general admission only and are $15 each. They are available at the NebraskaLandDays office, online at www.NebrasklandDays.com, and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call the office at 308-532-7939.

Copyright 2020 KNOP. All rights reserved.

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