Onna the 2021 WPRA Breakaway Horse of the Year
- May 10, 2022
- Ruth Nicolaus
The 2021 Women’s Pro Rodeo Breakaway Horse of the Year winner was never intended to rodeo.
No Wimpy Turns, “Onna,” started life as a reining horse. But when her rider couldn’t get her to lope slow circles, her career changed.
Shelby Boisjoli, the 2021 reserve world champion breakaway roper, bought the mare three years ago, as a four-year-old. She is by Whiz N Starlight and out of Its Wimpys Turn.
The mare “got kicked out of the reining, because she’s quirky and likes to go fast all the time,” she said.
But her willingness to go fast made her a perfect candidate for the breakaway roping.
Boisjoli trained her for the roping, which Onna picked up quickly, and last year, the sorrel carried Boisjoli at a majority of the rodeos. Thanks in part to Onna, Boisjoli led the world breakaway standings from mid-June to the National Finals Breakaway Roping.
The cowgirl bought her for a birthday present to herself in 2019. “She was easy to train, honestly,” she said. “She’s one of those horses that wants to do good for you. She gets upset right away if she thinks she did bad.”
She’s not without her quirks, like many of the good horses.
She still won’t lope slow. “The biggest problem I have with her is she likes to go fast all the time, so if the calves are slow it’s hard to get her to not run them over,” Boisjoli said.
She’s also very cinchy. “I have to be very careful when I cinch her up. At the trailer, I have to make it so the cinch hardly touches her. I warm her up, and cinch a little more, then warm her up and cinch a little more.”
She’s also been known to buck a little, too, when she’s fresh.
Boisjoli has purchased the mare’s dam and full sister, plus stud fees for the sire. She’s hoping to breed her dam to the same stud, to get more of her siblings.
The mare made breakaway a lot easier last year for the Canadian-turned Texas cowgirl.
“She’s been the biggest blessing for me. She just made it really easy for me all summer. She gave me a good start every time and let me rope the calf.”
As of press time, Boisjoli is in the top ten in the WPRA world standings.
About Ruth Nicolaus
Ruth is a rodeo publicist who loves the Great Plains and its people. She can be found behind the chutes at a rodeo, working in her flower garden, or cooking, some of her favorite things to do....