NFR 2021
NFR 2017
NFR 2021-Horse of the Year-Breakaway Roping
rule On Top
Onna Owns Inaugural Nutrena Breakaway Horse of the Year
Presented by AQHA Award

By Allie Bohus

WPRA Breakaway Roper Shelby Boisjoli knew she had found something special when she first purchased No Wimpy Turns better known as Onna. The 2015 sorrel mare is by Whiz N Starlight and out of Its Wimpys Turn.

It’s no surprise that Onna is such a star – her sire, a ‘bright, coppery bay,’ Whiz N Starlight amassed over $65,000 in lifetime earnings in reining and working cow horse shows, and is owned and shown by Clay Webster Performance Horses, Inc. (Okotoks, Alberta, Canada). Her dam, Its Wimpys Turn, is a 2004 palomino mare by the infamous, Wimpys Little Step, a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), $12 million sire, and 2011 NRHA Hall of Fame inductee.

Boisjoli, a native Canadian, purchased Onna at a reining barn in Canada two years ago.

“I bought her as a 4-year old. She was a reiner; I started her in the breakaway and trained her myself,” said Boisjoli, who trains and sells breakaway horses for a living. She is always shopping around for ex-reiners and reined cow horses to make into breakaway horses.

It took Boisjoli two weeks to rope break her, but she is now reaping the rewards from the time she spent putting in the ground work before the mare was ridden or roped on.
“The very first time I rode her, I swung a rope on her… I had a really good feel. She had good timing. I liked the way she went to the [calf] sled. I knew [at that moment] I was never going to sell her,” she said.

Boisjoli started Onna almost exactly two years ago (at press time). It took about three months before she hauled her anywhere.

“I really took my time with her,” noted Boisjoli. “She was pretty fragile. To this day, I can’t get a rope around her feet.”

The 2021 top ranked roper took it slow with her training to ensure the mare was ready before hauling her to town. When she felt she was ready, she loaded her up and took her to several jackpots and would just tie her to the fence to get her used to being away from home.

When she thought she was ready to be roped on competitively, Boisjoli called on the services of none other than WPRA World Champion Jackie Crawford. Crawford, now a 20-time world champion, took Onna and roped on her for the first time at two jackpots and a rodeo. They ended up winning the rodeo and placed at a jackpot. Onna went on to win the Horse of the Year at the Feather S Productions Breakaway Jackpots that year. That was really the first time Boisjoli believes her peers started noticing the sorrel mare.

After her initial glory, Onna has continued to make headlines in the WPRA. With $52,470 won at 71 rodeos attended, Boisjoli and Onna proved they are a force to be reckoned with in 2021. Onna won the inaugural Nutrena Breakaway Horse of the Year honors, presented by AQHA, and helped her jockey reach her goal of finishing the regular season ranked No. 1. The Horse of the Year Award is voted on by the Top 25 WPRA Breakaway Ropers, so to win this award was extremely humbling and special for Boisjoli.

“It meant a lot to me,” said Boisjoli, who now resides in Stephenville, Texas. “She is a really special horse to me. I was honored that a lot of respected athletes looked at her the same way I do. I put a lot more into my horsemanship than into my roping. It’s a [much] greater compliment for me for people to compliment my horses over my roping. That [award] meant so much more to me than a buckle.”

Boisjoli credits her dad and mom for investing so much time on her when she was younger.

“My dad was huge on horsemanship growing up, and he taught me pretty much everything I know. He always made us make our own horses and it’s helped me so much in the long run. I wouldn’t have the success or the horsepower without my parents and everything they have done for me. They have spent countless hours pulling the sled for me and popping the chute growing up. Onna means a lot to me and my whole family and we’re all very proud of her.”