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Knowing The Start

The importance of learning about entering correctly with Rookie Breakaway Roper Jade Kenney 

Cover Photo by Gralyn J Photography

When you’re behind the roping box “knowing the start” means you’ve watched the barrier and you know how to get out. Before any of this can take place, one must know how to enter.

 This can be the most daunting task for a rookie, it is as vital to their success as any other factor that comes with the event. Rookie breakaway roper,Jade Kenney, is learning the art of entering along with her fellow competitors as she makes her run for a NFBR qualification.

Jade is from Canyon, TX and you might have heard her name before…. she’s been in the game roping and running barrels since before she could legally drive a truck. Now she’s loaded up and driving across the country this year, entering, and planning her attack at some of the biggest PRCA rodeos of the year. 

Entering everywhere, from the US to Canada is no easy feat. After a Canadian Finals qualification last year, Jade is entering up more than ever before. Planning for two finals, two associations, and two chances at a gold buckle isn’t exactly a piece of cake. 

“I have been very fortunate, my traveling partners and friends Taylor Munsell and Samantha Fulton have been helping me get set up for rodeos and help me plan where I’m going, when I’m going, what slacks I should go to, and what performances to try to get into,” said Jade. 

Who handles entries? 

The Professional Rodeo Communications system, AKA “PROCOM” is a notoriously difficult system to understand and master due to the many moving parts. According to the PRCA, PROCOM handles around 700,000 calls per year. PROCOM allows you to enter rodeos with personal scheduling preferences and uses the “buddy system”. This allows you to enter your traveling partners at the same times as you, and therefore helps rodeo athletes join up rigs, making it much more economical for everyone involved. 

“I feel like it took a minute but I feel like I have my feet under me now. A few things you must pay attention to is how the system works and to look at how everyone’s preferences compare to our own, and work around all of that to make your odds a little better,” said Jade. 

As a rookie, sometimes it’s harder to draw up in large rodeos, where veterans take preference. For Jade, traveling with two NFBR qualifiers has been a key part to success entering as a rookie.

“I have been lucky to get in with Samantha and Taylor so that means it’s a group of 3…. that then means that your odds are way lower of getting into a performance, which also makes our chances of getting into where we actually need to and when we need to higher,” she continued.

Although, this isn’t guaranteed 100% of the time. Sometimes it isn’t possible to keep all three together. Jade credits her dad for helping her drive and or bring a truck and trailer to her when she needs to separate and get to rodeos where she drew up differently. 

Her dad is a retired PRCA saddle bronc rider and can’t lend much knowledge to her on the entry side, in his days you used a payphone and had sports news in hand. Now, Jade has taught him to use his PRCA app and they’ll check the openings and closings in the business journal within the PRCA members side of the website and app.

“Make sure you have great people in your corner that our willing to help you out with the entering, find them early, get a plan together and don’t try to do it on your own that first year…. you need help,” Jade explained. 

“As a breakaway roper we don’t have a rodeo count we are all trying to get to everything we can, in our event you need that person that is willing to help you enter that has been there done that because it truly is something you must learn. When you do this you learn more about everything, what is close to the next rodeo, what calves are going to be the best, what the starts gonna be, and just little details that tie all of our success together.”

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