Commissioner Q&A: Linsay Rosser Sumpter Shares Her Vision for the WRWC

Rosser Sumpter talks about the future of the Women's Rodeo World Championship and her role as the organization’s newly named Commissioner.

BRJ Photographs by Kaitlin Gustave

Rosser Sumpter talks about the future of the Women's Rodeo World Championship and her role as the organization’s newly named Commissioner.

As the granddaughter of Flying U Rodeo’s Cotton Rosser, Linsay Rosser Sumpter brings a deep-rooted legacy with her to her progressive new role as Women’s Rodeo World Championship Commissioner. The wife of 6x National Finals Rodeo steer wrestler Wade Sumpter and mom of two young boys, Weston and Lindon, Rosser Sumpter lives near Fowler, Colorado, where she serves as Otero College Head Rodeo Coach and Adjunct Ag Professor. A former collegiate athlete herself, Rosser Sumpter earned her education while rodeoing for California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo. She grew up working on the production side of rodeo before moving to Colorado for a job as PR/Marketing Manager with the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. Adding to her resume, Rosser Sumpter is also a noted clinician and trainer of breakaway roping horses.

Watch BreakawayRoping.com Coach Linsay Rosser Sumpter HERE.

Since launching in May of 2020, the WRWC and has awarded more than $1,500,000 in new money to women rodeo athletes. Barrel Racing Magazine was fortunate to catch up with Rosser Sumpter and glean some insights into her vision for the future of women in rodeo.

Barrel Racing Magazine: What immediate goals will you be working toward as Commissioner to assist WRCA athletes and develop new rodeo talent?

Linsay Rosser Sumpter: One of my immediate goals as Commissioner is to open the lines of communication for contestants with the WRWC. I want everyone to understand how easy the process (learn more here) is to nominate all the events that you attended whether it be a large jackpot, rodeo, or even a small gymkhana. 

I am also going to put together a group of diverse women to assist me in a competition committee to ensure that the event rules are fair and adequate for all competitors.

2022 will be the first time that the championship round for the WRWC is a ticketed event. The on-sale date was March 6 and we are striving to have the May 18 performance as a sold-out show (tickets available at Cowtown Coliseum Box Office, or online at cowtowncoliseum.com).

I want to see the WRWC be the end goal for women across the United States. I want women to understand that you don’t have to be a professional cowgirl to have the chance to compete for large prize money. The WRWC is one of the few opportunities that gives cash bonuses to its world champions, and I want all women across the country to understand that they have a chance that it doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, a professional, a nurse, or a high school student you have a chance to rope or run barrels for an amazing purse of money.   

BRM: What can contestants and fans of the sport expect to see as the season progresses?

LRS: The 2022 season is a shorter season than in the years past. What we can expect to see as athletes are a few more qualifying events, especially in 2023. These events are guaranteed qualifications to the WRWC. 

We can also expect to see some amazing athletes jump onto the leaderboard with a last-minute push to qualify in the top 20. With only five weeks left to nominate events, I am excited to watch the leaderboard.

With the way that the economy is now, the WRWC is an opportunity to double down your entry fee money and lower your travel expenses. If you nominate all of the events that you go to it doubles your opportunity to win. Qualifying for the WRWC will allow competitors to compete at a rodeo with $180,000 added in each discipline.

If you are a fan of rodeo, I will guarantee you that you will witness the top women’s rodeo athletes in the country be competing at the WRWC. You will see the best barrel horses in the world, the best ropers in the world, and the world’s toughest athletes competing for the $750,000.

Rosser Sumpter is a lifelong rodeo competitor and coach who has worked in virtually all aspects of the sport, from production to promotion and advertising.

BRM: What is your hope for the future of women in the WRWC and what specific steps do you anticipate taking to see these hopes to fruition?

LRS: My hope for the future of women in the sport is to see more women make a living in the sport they love.  I want to see fewer women sell their barrel horses or hang up their rope bag because they can’t afford to make a living competing.

Growing the sport of rodeo is important to me. Letting young girls see the opportunity to win a world title not only as a professional but as a challenger is vital. Giving them an opportunity to know that they have room for growth with their ability is vital. I would like to see the numbers of women who compete in rodeos get to the levels that we see in the team ropings or barrel racing jackpots.

We want to be the place women at all skill levels can go for hopes of a world champion buckle. We want to be the avenue women take to continue with their rodeo careers.     

BRM: The WRWC offers the largest annual purse for a women’s rodeo event, plus attractive bonuses, and has achieved great network television ratings in its debut on CBS. What steps will you take to keep the WRWC moving forward and to capitalize on this rise in popularity for women in rodeo?

LRS: Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

I see the WRWC being the driving force that pushes women into the sport. I want the competitors at the WRWC to have the best experience possible. Knowing that myself and everyone involved will give competitors the best stock to compete on, and the best ground to run on. 

I want the women in rodeo, no matter what their skill level is, to know that they have the opportunity to compete for the largest prize money at a single event, no matter where they are in the United States. I want to be the driving force that brings huge competitive numbers to barrel racing, breakaway roping, and women’s team roping.

We are partnered with some amazing events throughout the country allowing the winners of those events to qualify to the WRWC. We strive to have qualifying events in all regions of the United States to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to qualify for this amazing event. We want to become a true ranking system for all women in rodeo no matter their skill level.

BRM: You’ve worked in and around the rodeo industry throughout your life and have seen what works and what doesn’t. What do you see as the WRWC’s strengths and what areas are you looking forward to improving upon?

LRS: Our biggest strength is that we care about the athletes. We want to include every competitor within the sport from beginners to professionals. We want to have an avenue for everyone.

The WRWC is the only place where challengers compete against challengers and professionals compete against professionals in the breakaway roping. Building upon that is our greatest strength. Allowing competitors to “stay in their lane” will continue to develop athletes into professionals.  

I’m looking forward to improving the lines of communication. I want everyone to understand how easy it is to nominate every event that you are competing in and how to make every jackpot or rodeo that you go to count toward the standings of the WRWC. I’m excited to be part of this innovative team that cares about the future of women in rodeo.

Rosser Sumpter wants women rodeo athletes of all skill levels to consider the opportunities available through WRWC.