I could bore you with a book of reasons why Trevor Brazile stands second to none on center stage in the cowboy sport. Head to toe—from the hat on his head to the boots on his feet—no one holds a candle to the winningest cowboy of all time in terms of achievement.
As I scanned this week’s world standings, I wondered how the Relentless one sees his chances at another gold buckle—or two, or three—to add to his unmatched, 23-strong collection. I wondered what he thinks his odds look like of outdoing himself yet again, as the cowboy contingent rounds the backstretch on the 2018 regular season. Looks to me like the team roping could very well hold the key to this year’s ultimate in coveted cowboy crowns—the world all-around title.
As busy as Trevor Brazile has been rewriting rodeo history since joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association about 20 years ago, he’s never been too big for his britches. Here’s a guy with 50—yes, FIFTY—National Finals qualifications to his credit. And yet, he’s picked up my call on the first ring when he was sitting in a barber’s chair, invited me to a pool party for his kids to finish up an interview, and gotten one done between his running a few in the practice pen. This guy is gold, in the arena and out.
True to form, when I texted Trevor about his availability this time around—in the heat of NFR-cut battle—he came right back with, “Bright and early ok?” The cowboy king is as humble and kind as ever, and his willingness to spend this morning’s sunrise visiting about his blood pressure heading into this fall’s mad dash for the Finals finish line was classic Trevor.
I just happened to be at the Brazile-Cooper Compound in Texas not so many moons ago when Trevor took brother-in-law Tuf Cooper into his arena for the first few steer roping sessions. I see today that Tuf—the three-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper and reigning World Champion All-Around Cowboy—currently leads the world all-around and steer roping races. Thirteen-time World Champion All-Around Cowboy Trevor is second only to Tuf in the all-around race right now. So I just had to ask—kind of kiddingly, of course—if Trevor had an ounce of regret for spurring Tuf on in that second event, and teaching him everything he knows.
“Zero,” Brazile zinged back, with a great, big smile. “I stayed on his butt forever, and told him, ‘You’ve got to do it.’ He told me, ‘I’ll do it when I’m not wasting my time’ (because Trevor was so dominant in three events that he basically had the all-around in the bag). I explained to him that it might take years to get it down, so he needed to get a jump on it. Second and third events don’t just come to you.”
Trevor, who’s 41 now and will turn 42 in November, feels good not only about keeping it in the family, but about having a hand in leaving his kingdom in good hands by helping his heir apparent.
“Someone who’s proficient in two or more events should trump someone who dominates in one event, and wins a few dollars in a second one (when it comes to winning the all-around),” Trevor said. “As I start to think about the time when I’ll be phasing out, I feel a lot better about helping make sure that continues to be the case.”
At this moment, Trevor’s eighth in the world tie-down roping standings, and fifth in the steer roping. The push is on for him and partner Patrick Smith to finish strong in the team roping. They’re 31st in the world right now, but Trevor’s only $10,000 behind Cory Kidd, who’s currently the 15-place header. Mind you, after taking much of the spring off to spend time at home with wife his wife, Shada, and kids, Treston, Style, and Swayzi, Trevor wasn’t in the top 30 in any event when he rode into Reno in June.
It’s now crunch time—big time—in the team roping. And Trevor and Patrick—who won the world team roping title together in 2010—are pulling out all the stops. Trevor, who’s been having to live without his No. 1 head horse, Boogie, since he got hurt right before the all-important Fourth of July run and pivotal rodeo weeks that follow, has Boogie back. Patrick’s got Randon Adams’ stud Rooster leased. It’s Go Time for Team Trevor & Patrick, and they’ve been practicing every possible chance they get.
“It’s so different for multi-event cowboys than guys who work one event,” Trevor explained. “The tie-down and steer roping have been going pretty good, so instead of concentrating on what’s going right, I’m trying to right the ship in the team roping. My emphasis is always on the weakest link, and right now, that’s the team roping. It’s been a little under par, so we’ve really been working at it.
“I’ve always looked at rodeoing as an entire season. The first three quarters haven’t gone exactly as planned, but the game can always be won in the fourth quarter. The only guys who get beat this time of the year are the ones who quit. Things can change so fast. I’ve started it, and I want to finish it.”