photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hay……

After over a year of virtual interactions and remote learning, the Cal Poly Rodeo Team’s return to campus for in-person activities was eagerly anticipated. Their enthusiasm for making waves this fall led to a groundbreaking event – the Break-A-Wave Finale. This event marked the first-ever breakaway roping competition on sandy shores, highlighting the real Coastal Cowgirls.

All photos courtesy of Elizabeth Hay

News of this daring endeavor quickly spread, drawing support from various quarters, from local surf shops to beloved western brands. On the evening of September 19th, as the sun dipped below the horizon, live cattle and 25 skilled breakaway ropers gathered at Pismo State Beach, aiming to make history as the first Cal Poly students to rope a calf along this iconic coastline.

The Break-A-Wave event showcased the Cal Poly Rodeo Team and additional cowgirls representing the real coastal cowgirls, embodying the spirit of California’s rugged coast with their unwavering dedication to rodeo. Against the backdrop of sun, sand, and surf, these exceptional women exhibited their skills, demonstrating their prowess in the world of rodeo. From the heart-pounding action of breakaway roping to the excitement of the competition, these cowgirls left an indelible mark on the beach, affirming that true cowgirl spirit knows no bounds, even along California’s picturesque coast.

A sprawling 260-foot-long three-sided calf lane, open to the vast ocean on one side, was meticulously set up. Six Cal Poly calf ropers stood ready, poised to rope any adventurous calf straying toward the water’s edge. Surrounding the arena, family and friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder, eagerly awaiting the crowning of the first Break-A-Wave Finale Champion. When the dust settled, Haleigh Grant, a junior high breakaway roper, emerged as the coveted champion.

The success of the inaugural Break-A-Wave Finale was a testament to the unwavering support of the community and the tireless efforts of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team.