WACO, Texas (News Release) - World Titles were handed out over the weekend at the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas, in the roping division.
The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) is the oldest women’s sports organization in the country. The Association started in 1948 with a group of Texas ranch women who wanted to add a little color and femininity to the rough-and-tumble sport of rodeo. Today, the association boasts more than 3,000 members, over 1,500 events and payouts totaling over $5 million.
The WPRA, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., provides opportunities for women across the United States and Canada to compete in the timed events of barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, and tie-down roping.
The young roping phenom, Gracie Gambino, won back-to-back world titles in the tie-down roping last weekend. The 18-year old from Lindale, Texas, finished the year with $7,403 in earnings topping the field of talented competitors. The finals is a three head match where Gambino won the second round, was third in the third round and was fourth in the average on three head to help clinch the WPRA World Champion Tie Down Roping title for the second year in a row.
Stylish Especial, her 9-year-old registered American Quarter Horse with the barn name of Grayman, was also voted Horse of the Year by her fellow competitors at the WPRA World Finals. In addition, Gracie was also able to add the 2020 WPRA Reserve All Around World Championship title to her list of accomplishments. Kelsie Chace won her third all-around WPRA World Title outdistancing Gambino by less than $200 in earnings. Chace, who previously won the title in 2012 and 2017, finished the year with $7,870 in all-around earnings compared to Gambino’s $7,699. Gambino earned money in not only the Tie Down roping, but also in Team Roping, Break Away Roping, and Barrel Racing to be eligible for this title. Gracie is a current student at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas and a member of the Collegiate Rodeo Team there. When not at school, she calls Red Springs home, a small community just outside of Lindale.
Gracie is extremely appreciative of everyone in the local community who has supported her along her journey, especially her parents, her brother, and her family. She is quick to state that there have been many people that have made it possible for her to live her dreams inside the arena. Gracie credits much of her success to her team of supporters and her horses and when interviewed expressed her sincere appreciation to all her sponsors and the sponsors of the WPRA World Finals.