Covington eighth grader qualifies for Rodeo World Championship

Reporter: Ellie Mahan

May 12, 2022

According to the Women’s Rodeo World Championship leadership board, Rylie Edens, is the number one challenger in breakaway roping. Photo by Women’s Rodeo World Championship

Rylie Edens, eighth grader at Covington Junior High and Hillsboro resident, has qualified for the Women’s Rodeo World Championship Showdown Round. She will compete in breakaway roping Wednesday, May 18, at the historic Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth.

Rylie is one of two athletes who are advancing directly to the showdown round; she earned her spot in the competition with the culmination of scores she achieved throughout this year. The WRWC has the largest winning opportunities for an annual women’s rodeo event. It will payout more than $750,000 in 2022, crowning world champions in team roping, breakaway roping and barrel racing. An All-Around Champion will also be crowned.

When Rylie first found out that she would be competing in the Women’s Rodeo World Championship, she said she was slightly shocked. She never thought she would come this far in the competition at the age of 13.

At the WRWC, Rylie will compete against women of all ages. She is classified as a challenger, which means that she is too young to enter as a professional but will still go up against professionals in the showdown round. While she is nervous to compete against the top women in the world, she knows that she wouldn’t be where she is today without practicing and putting hard work into her passion daily.

Rylie said, “With breakaway, if you don’t practice you’re not going to do very good. It proves that you put a lot of work into it. The more you practice, the better your outcomes are going to be.” Rylie typically practices with her horse every day, often for two hours at a time. Even on rainy days, she tries to get some practice in by roping a dummy.

Another aspect of participating in rodeos that Rylie enjoys is that she doesn’t have to rely on anyone else for her success. When she is in the arena, it is just her and her horse. Her relationship with the horse she plans to compete on for the showdown round began when Rylie was eight years old.

Rodeo has always been a part of Rylie’s life. The passion and skill for rodeo runs in her family. Because of her mother, Leslie, Rylie has been a part of the rodeo scene her entire life. Leslie competed when she was young and throughout college at Tarleton State University. She continued competing with the United Professional Rodeo Association until she had Rylie, winning multiple all-around awards. Leslie’s mother passed down the love of rodeo to her, who passed it down to Rylie.

Rylie has roped for as long as she can remember and started entering into competitions in about fourth grade. She went on to qualify for rodeos in Las Vegas multiple times. She qualified for all the rodeos in Las Vegas, other than the one she is prohibited from entering until she is 18 years old.

Over the years of winning rodeos, Rylie has built a collection of more than 20 saddles that are stored throughout her two-story home.

She has made friends with people from all over the country through rodeo, spending time with some of her competitors at social events, but she has an appreciation for Hill County and the small town she has lived in for her whole life.

Local rodeos she has performed at include an amateur rodeo in West, a youth rodeo at Open Range Cowboy Church in Whitney, and she frequently participates in weekly rodeos at the Stockyards in Fort Worth.

The Women’s Rodeo World Championship will begin Monday, May 16, and Tuesday, May 17, with progressive rounds. Since Rylie is classified as a challenger, she is not required to participate in the progressive round and is granted automatic acceptance to the showdown round Wednesday, May 18. The competition Monday and Tuesday are free and open to the public. Athletes competing in the Wednesday performance will be issued one companion ticket. Additional tickets will be available for purchase at

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