The ladies came to rope this morning at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center for the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping! With many returning veterans and a few new faces to the lineup, the air was filled with anticipation to kick-off the day with the team roping.
Jenna Johnson of Warm Springs, OR had made the journey down with Serena Dahozy from Parshall, ND to enter the C1H All-Girl Team Roping. In a time crunch, the girls drove straight to Reno, “We didn’t get a chance to go to my house to get my horses. So I came here and had to borrow a shirt, a hat, a horse, boots, the whole works!”. Fortunately Johnson had previous experience with the horse she was riding and knew it was a dependable ride.
Usually a breakaway roper and not much of a header, Johnson entered one time in the C1H Team Roping with Dahozy and as luck would have it drew (then) two time Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Champion Heeler Whitney DeSalvo. “It takes the pressure off roping with someone like Whitney or Serena” says Johnson, “I know I can just go in and do my job and they’ll do theirs”. She also credits Dahozy, whom she calls family, for supporting her.
Meanwhile DeSalvo was entered up with none other than Lari Dee Guy and Hope Thompson whom she finished third in the average with for $3,750 a piece. Also returning with DeSalvo was her infamous stick Becky. “We had a full trailer coming down. I hauled Lari Dee, Hope, and Annette’s (Stahl) horses out here and then two of the three boys I brought out here had horses so I brought Becky for me and Blaine to ride. It’s hard to go to Reno without Becky.”
DeSalvo has been totin’ Blaine and Cooper around while doing some amateur rodeo on the side. Cooper was unable to make the trip to Reno since he was competing at the National Junior High Rodeo Finals this week in Des Moines, Iowa while Blaine joined us for the Hooey JR BFI #10.5 which took place on Saturday, June 19th.
The $17,000 payout for the C1H All-Girl Team Roping was the biggest win-to-date for Johnson and she already had plans to put the money to use. During the Covid-19 pandemic Johnson was laid off and spent her time studying to get her pilot’s license. With her practical coming up in 2 weeks, she plans to use the money for school and has aspirations to become a commercial pilot. She’ll be leaving Reno and heading home to stick her nose in the books.
DeSalvo will be traveling back home as well to a very excited mom, Debra DeSalvo. “She answered the phone squealing. She didn’t say hello or anything, just lots of squeals. She’s working right now driving on her route so she said she pulled over on the side of the road and was just sitting on the side of the road watching. I couldn’t do it without her. She’s excited like it’s the first time I’ve ever won, every time.”
Being no stranger to the award stage, not only has DeSalvo won this roping three times but has placed in the average multiple times in the same year. One of her most memorable wins was from the 2020 when the BFI had to move to Guthrie after the cancellation of Reno Rodeo. DeSalvo won 1st place with Hope Thompson, 2nd place with Lari Dee Guy, and 3rd place with Audrey Hart. Shortly after she was raised to a #8 heeler, the highest numbered female in the sport of team roping.
When asked about whether she prefers Guthrie or Reno, DeSalvo replied, “It just feels like the normal BFI here. Guthrie is great I love the roping at Guthrie. You can’t beat the Reno feel, you’re not going to get that in OK. They both have pros and cons but you don’t make trips like this as often throughout the year as you do for the BFI.”
To view the full results of the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping, click here.