Brenten Hall may not wear his heart on his sleeve, but he wears it with reverence on his belt. Now 20, the 2019 NFR qualifier lost his father, Bob Hall, to stage 4 pancreatic cancer when he was 16. Much of the young Hall’s life has changed since then, and the 1992 Champion buckle he wears today signifies not just his past, but his present and future, too.
“When my dad passed away, I got his buckle,” Hall said. “That was one of the ones he wore on the daily. Bigbee & Robbins is what it says. It would be the same roping as the Biggest East [of the Mississippi] roping they have now, which used to be a pretty good-sized open roping and he went out there and won it.”
Hall did get to rope with his dad, but he was really a calf roper and his dad was all the help he needed, until he was gone.
“I was pretty much on my own. That’s what made me change to team roping. It was really hard to find somewhere to rope calves. Without my dad working the chutes, that is what inspired the change.”
The buckle means so much to Hall that he won’t even change it out for the Round buckle he won at the NFR last year.
“The only belt buckle I’d ever change it for is the Gold Buckle. When, or if I was to get the Gold Buckle, that would be a goal that we both had, so wearing that would mean more because it would be something that we both had strived for.”
Until Hall does win that Gold Buckle, though, he’ll wear his dad’s champion buckle to remind him that life is more than rodeo.
“That belt buckle has a lot of meaning behind it. It felt like it needed to be done. Like I needed a piece of him helping me again. There’s more meaning to life than just winning rodeos. I can wear this buckle and at least keep him in mind a little bit. Life is short. You don’t always get as much time as you want with people, so, spend it wisely. That’s the meaning for it for me. When I wear this belt buckle, it just keeps everything in perspective. Everything can be taken away, even when they’re at their greatest points.”