It’s not that Luke Brown loves wearing red fingernail polish and pink lip gloss. It’s just that he loves his little girl Libby so much that saying no to her is simply not an option.
Luke’s roping at his 11th straight Wrangler National Finals Rodeo here in Vegas, and he and Jake long were 3.9 for their first go-round victory lap of the week, which they shared with Derrick Begay and Cory Petska. Luke and Jake cashed their fourth checks of this Finals, though they’ve also ridden out empty-handed with no-times in three rounds.
But have no fear (of the NFR Blues), Libby Layne is here!
“She doesn’t care if I win or lose,” said Luke, 40, who’s a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, but currently makes his home in Morgan Mill, Texas, with his wife, Lacy, and Libby, who is clearly the center of their universe. “I meet them outside (the Thomas & Mack Center) after I rope each night, and she comes down the escalators running and yelling my name—Daddy!—every time, no matter what happened out there in that arena. Lacy’s the same way. She’s always so positive, and that means a lot.”
Luke’s about as consistent as they come. He’s won three NFR average titles in his career—with Martin Lucero in 2010, and again with Kollin VonAhn in both 2013 and ’15. There have been a few more highs and lows here this week than Luke’s used to—he missed their second steer, lost his rope in Round 5, and Jake missed their sixth steer after Luke bombed for a brisket. But that glorious greeting at the bottom of those escalators never waivers.
“This is my job,” Luke said. “As long as I’m practicing and trying to do things right, winning will take care of itself. If we’re doing all we can do, we know we’re going to win when it’s our turn. But it’s not always anyone’s turn. So it sure is nice to get that ‘Daddy!’ when it doesn’t go our way out there in that arena.”