Apr 8, 2022
By Susan Kanode
Spend a little time around Jackie Crawford and you can’t help but be inspired. The cowgirl’s dedication and passion shines through in everything she does, from loping horses and roping, to being a wife and especially being a mom.
Jackie grew up in Illinois and Oklahoma. She loved horses and all animals from the get-go and started with speed events at play days. When she got to the Sooner State, she was around other kids who competed at rodeos and her focus changed. She started roping as a teenager and qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo representing Oklahoma. She moved to Texas to compete at the collegiate level, first for Vernon College and then Tarleton State University.
Now she is one of the most successful ropers in the history of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and won the inaugural world championship after competing at the first National Finals Breakaway Roping at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, in 2020. She also won the title at the 2022 American Rodeo.
Jackie’s husband, Charly Crawford, proposed to her at the Washington State Fair Rodeo in Puyallup where he was competing as a team roper and she was a spectator. She has won 20 WPRA world titles and most of those have come through competing at women’s rodeos. With the inclusion of breakaway roping at PRCA/WPRA events starting in 2021, her travel schedule and quest for gold have certainly changed.
While she has travelled with Charly, her schedule and his often didn’t and still don’t align. Charly was busy qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – he has 11 to his credit – and she was pursuing her own goals. After Charly’s trip to Las Vegas in 2021, he retired from the road and is putting on roping clinics and competing selectively. So now, Charly is close to home and Jackie is loading her horses, children (son Creed is four and daughter Journey just turned one) and help in a truck and heading off on the rodeo trail at the helm of their ship.
It’s a circus, but it’s their circus and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
One on One with Wrangler NFBR Contestant Jackie Crawford
Favorite movie: G.I. Jane for whatever reason. I think it’s awesome.
Favorite current tv show: Yellowstone and 1883 – those are such a stereotypical answers but that is the answer.
Favorite book: I don’t have much time to read, but I have read “With Winning in Mind.” I really like sports psychology.
Dogs or cats: I love both of them so much – actually all animals. My friends that know me know that I will save any animal. I just love animals. We travel with a cat and he just loves Creed.
Favorite dessert: Anything chocolate – but I do not like cake. I’m not a cake person.
Favorite music: My playlist on the phone hits every spectrum, but I really love country music.
Favorite board or card game: I love the card game Speed.
Favorite sport, other than rodeo: Used to watch a lot of football, but we’ve moved away from that. We really don’t watch any other sports.
If not rodeo, what would you be doing: Working cow horse. I love riding colts and I’ve always loved the working cow horses. I think it’s so cool!
Best gift ever received: My children are absolutely my best gift. I love love love my babies.
Best childhood memory: I was a little bitty girl growing up on the racetrack. There were a bunch of us and we would get a soda pop, sneak into trailers that had ice machines, steal cups of ice and make our own snow cones. We had a ball playing around the racetrack.
What superpower would you like to have: Be strong like Superwoman.
Favorite thing about breakaway roping: I love that breakaway roping includes women as a sport that comes from what men and women do every day to take care of cattle. I think of the original cowboy, somebody that tends to livestock, can rope and ride, and to have a women’s event that represents that culture is so fun.
What would people be surprised to learn about you: I’m the most soft-hearted person when it comes to animals. I will save absolutely any animal that I can. I’ve rescued dogs and cats off the side of the road. I just can’t leave them. When I was little I tried to save a litter of mice in the tack room.
Best horse you’ve ever ridden: T-Boy is the very best and probably always will be. I rode him for 11 years and he taught me so much.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self: Enjoy the process. Don’t worry about the outcome, it’s short lived. You have to enjoy the process and the journey to get there. Trevor Brazile taught me that.
You have a day to relax between rodeos, what are you doing: I just like to chill out and watch a movie. If there’s something to take my kids to that looks like fun, we’ll do that.
What belt buckle do you wear and why: My 2020 World Champion buckle. No one else has one and no one ever will because it was the first. It represents so much, not just for me, but for all the women who came before me and all of them that made me work to get it.
What’s the most surprising thing about being a mom: How scared I am. Everybody prepares you for how you are going to love them. You learn how to take care of them, but no one ever told me how scared I would be for them.
What is your routine to get ready for competition: Me and routines are not the best of friends. It depends on how late I’m running and what I am doing. Do I have both kids or just one kid? The things that always stay the same are to have my horse warmed up good, check my ropes, check the draw, and watch the start. I tell my self what I’m going to do, then let muscle memory take over and hope for the best.
What is the best thing about being married to a team roper: He doesn’t try to steal my breakaway horses.
What is the worst thing about being married to a team roper: He does try to steal my head horses.
What would people be surprised to know about Charly: I think that one thing that people don’t understand about Charly, things haven’t come naturally and easy. Everything he does is hard work and try and that’s what has made him successful in every aspect of his life.