On the eve of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony—where tomorrow we will celebrate the Class of 2022 in Colorado Springs—I had one question for the four inductees with major ties to team roping. So, Trevor Brazile, Bobby Mote, Bobby Harris and Mel Potter…
How proud are you to be a part of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Class of 2022?
“I’m 100 percent proud of the class I’m going in with,” Trevor said. “My dad (Jimmy Brazile) and Mel Potter rodeoed at the same time, so I grew up roping the dummy and playing under the bleachers with (Mel’s daughter) Sherry Cervi when we were little kids while our dads were in the arena competing. And I like the way Mel stayed attached to the industry by producing great horses. He’s been so passionate about proving certain bloodlines work as rodeo horses (Potter is a Driftwood man), and that’s inspiring to me also.
“I watched Bobby Harris at the Timed Event (Championship at the Lazy E Arena), and he’s one of the few guys who mastered the rope. When it comes to rope handling, Bobby can do it all.
“My (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) card number and Bobby Mote’s card number are one digit apart. I watched him his whole career, and have an appreciation for what he’s done in the arena. But it was the time I spent with him after rodeo that made me know why Bobby was a champion. He uses that same intensity and fierceness he went at the bareback riding with in every aspect of life. That’s why he’s so successful. There’s not a lot of gray area with Bob Mote—it’s gas or brake.”
“I’ve only beat Trevor at two things—my (PRCA) card number is one digit lower than his, and I was born before him the same year (1976),” Mote said. “I’m proud of this class, and I’m just proud in general. They can debate about world championships, and questionable calls at the Finals that could have made it go either way between a couple guys for the gold buckle. But they can’t pick apart a whole career. Over the course of a career, calls go your way and against you. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame really is the ultimate honor in any cowboy’s career.
“When I won my first world championship (in 2002), I went into the gym (at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, which has been home to the National Finals Rodeo since 1985) and did all the interviews. When I came out, all the banners were gone, and there were forklifts tearing down the arena. It occurred to me that an hour after I won the world, it was already over and we were all tied at zero and starting all over again. Everybody was already talking about the new year and the next rodeo in Odessa (Texas). You have to be pretty hard-headed to make it in rodeo, and I’m proud to have persevered and overcome whatever obstacles were thrown my way.”
“It’s no secret that Trevor’s the winningest cowboy of all time, and it doesn’t get any cooler than that,” Harris said. “I’ve known Trevor since he was a little boy. Bobby Mote is one of the greatest bareback riders of all time, and is so deserving. As a rodeo secretary, Cindy (Rosser, who’s being honored as a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association notable) was one of my other mothers early on in my career.
“I got to watch the bucking horse (Frontier Rodeo’s four-time PRCA Saddle Bronc of the Year Medicine Woman) go. Whiskey (Roy Duvall’s legendary bulldogging horse) made more rodeo runs than any horse I’ve ever heard of. The Beutler Rodeo Company (Jake Beutler is joining Lynn and Bennie in the Hall) has been around forever (as has rodeo clown Rick Young).
“They’re all awesome. But #1 of them all for me is Mel Potter. I’ve known Mel since I was a little boy, and he’s been a friend and a father figure to me. When Mel talks, you listen, and going in with him is very special to me. For what he’s done for rodeo as a cowboy, a stock contractor and a leader—I’m ecstatic for him.”
Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell will round out this year’s Class of 2022 by being honored among rodeo committees.
“I started going to Burwell when my dad (Nick, who like Jimmy Brazile is a National Finals Steer Roping qualifier) was tripping, and my son (Ryan) filled his permit there in the team roping,” Bobby said. “What the entire Class of 2022 has done for rodeo makes them all very deserving, and the honor is all mine to be a part of it. This is a huge deal for me. It wraps up my career, and it’s been a dream career.
“I was the steer roping rookie of the year when I was 15 in 1978. I got to experience winning the world. Now I’m being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame at 59. How can I ask for a better rodeo career than how it happened? This is a storybook ending.”
“It’s pretty special what they’re doing for me, and it does make me proud,” Potter said. “I had a lot of fun in my rodeo career, but what I’ve always said about being in the stock contracting business is that I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience, but they couldn’t pay me $10 million to do it again.”