One Of Rodeo Breakaway Roping’s Best
By Frank J. Buchman
“Nod. Swing. Throw.”
Watch stops, rodeo announcer excitedly broadcasts: “1.9-seconds moves Hannah Hughes into the lead in breakaway roping.”
Three steps required to be one of the very best cowgirl ropers in the country seems simple to a reader.
Spectators in the rodeo bleachers who blinked at the wrong second may have even missed the truly remarkable feat.
However, the Fort Scott, Kansas, cowgirl Hannah Hughes has stopped the clock on several different occasions at such breakneck speed.
Nodding for the calf simultaneously as mount lunges after, one rope swing and throwing a catch loop requires precision.
Majoring in ag business and equine management, Hannah is a sophomore at Northeastern Oklahoma (NEO) A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma.
Although the coronavirus has reduced her college competition this year, Hannah has done well in jackpots and several other associations. She won 19-and-under breakaway competition at Roy Cooper’s Junior Roping Championship during July.
Finals qualifications include Mike Johnson Junior World Championship, Tuf Cooper Junior World Championship, United Rodeo Association and American Cowboys Rodeo Association.
An honor student, Hannah is the only child of Rod and Donna Hughes. Rod is in the steel building construction business and Donna is an accountant.
Hannah started out riding her Mom’s bay winning barrel horse Minnie,
Competing in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping, Hannah won her first trophy saddle as a 12-year-old.
Moving on, Hannah rode in the Kansas Junior High Rodeo Association and then the Kansas High School Rodeo Association.
Continuing to compete in goat tying and barrel racing as a college freshman, Hannah now concentrates on perfecting breakaway roping.
Practice helps make perfect, according to the one who knows.
Upon graduating from NEO this coming spring, Hannah is undetermined about her direction.
Whatever she does, rodeo will be included in her lifestyle.