Packed stands, commotion, noise, bright lights, and the overpowering thrill and emotions of the sport. As she backs into the box excitement overwhelms her. She replays every run in her head over and over again before nodding for her steer. She keeps a positive attitude and manifests being a champion. The gates crack, her horse scores, her eye on two horns, as her hard work begins to unfold. 

Adorned with a smile that enhances pride, morals, and outstanding beauty, Battaglia shines at the top of the Vegas World Series Finale Team Roping, placing in all three of the ropings she entered and winning a total of $160,600. 

Before heading to Vegas, the former Miss Rodeo California experienced an unfortunate challenge. Eight weeks before the finale, Battaglia was involved in a horse related accident that landed her in the hospital for two nights and restricted her roping for two weeks. For many, this accident would mentally and physically take a toll on any roper, however this incident didn’t hold Battaglia back as she was nearly 100% recovered by the Finale.

Drawing good steers all week, the champion praises her team mate, Vita Blue. An 11 year old gelding, Vita Blue is a big stocky beautiful black with white on his face. His personality is a little goofy as he is scared of everything. He runs hard, scores sharp, and does his job very well.

“Literally the greatest head horse I have ever ridden. He fits the World Series set-up perfectly. He is an amazing horse. I am so grateful to get to ride him. He is the reason I did so well.”

Purchased two years ago by her brother Marcus, Battaglia had never ridden Vita Blue until May 2014 when her brother suggested she ride him in the #10 World Series roping in Riverside. Having never ridden Vita before, they instantly became a premier team winning the #10 that day!

Four weeks before the Finale, she switched from an extra-soft to a soft head rope. Battaglia swears by the Classic Heat rope as it is the only head rope she uses which also helped her stick all 12 steers in Vegas. She praises her partners who contributed to her success. Bronc Boehnlein and Battaglia placed third in the #13, she also took third in the #11 with Bob Mackie, and 19th in the #10 with Arturo Chavez.  

“Truly unbelievable. I am so grateful for everything that happened. Made it back to the short round in three of the ropings that I had entered that week. It was a fairy tale week for me. Life changing!!”

Going into the Finale, Battaglia placed in three out of the five World Series she entered this year. Placing in the #13, #12, and #11, with her partners Scott Perez, Bob Mackie, and Casey Green, this cowgirl works hard in and out of the arena. 

An educated, inspiring woman, Battaglia has earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish graduating from Arizona State University. Currently, she is working on her Master’s degree in Management from Tarleton State University. While balancing school and roping, Battaglia also helps her two younger brothers, Marcus and John James continue their father’s family business legacy.  Her mother, Joyce and her brothers are a huge inspiration and important aspect of her life. The support and love they nourish her with keep her motivated.

A first generation cowgirl, Battaglia didn’t start riding horses until the age of 14. Upon turning 18, Battaglia decided to pick up a rope. While living in Arizona and obtaining her education, she had the opportunity to rope with the greats. She picked Jake Barnes’s brain often when he came over to practice at the arena where Battaglia roped and kept her horses. She idolizes Jimmi Jo Montera, Tammy White, Jackie Crawford, and Lari Dee Guy. 

A woman I admire, this brunette bombshell loves to read, run in marathons, and loves watching baseball. Currently she is serving as VP for the Miss Rodeo California organization. This classy fashionista loves shoes! Stunning, she also enjoys getting fancy in dresses and shoes, but equally loves the casual look of baggy jeans and a ball cap. 

In five years, she would like to own a place in Arizona, where she will winter there. Living her dream, she will continue to work with her brothers parking cars, selling pumpkins, and of course, roping horns! With her big win, she plans on paying for grad school and finding another horse like Vita. 

Markie is an unbelievably good hearted woman who displays such class and grace. She is admired and loved by many. It is obvious she is wicked with a rope and has worked hard to become a bad­ass woman roper setting the bar for woman ropers across the nation. She is one inspiring woman with a positive, smart mind and a heart of gold.
Like Melia Dishion said, “hashtag rope like Markie.” 

Visit www.Caliidreamin.com for more Q&A’s and pictures!

The author of the blog, California Dreamin’ (www.calidreamin.com), Amy Witt’s articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world. A fashionista, cowgirl and journalist, Amy strives to motivate and inspire people around the world.

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