Tee Woolman’s record of heading steers at 21 straight NFRs is more than safe. But nobody in Las Vegas this year has been to more in a row than Luke Brown.
It’s been a dozen years since Brown made his very first NFR with a guy named Jade Corkill. Two million dollars and three NFR average titles later, the 45-year-old South Carolina native will return with defending world champion heeler Paul Eaves.
Brown calls his streak of 12 straight NFRs “dang near impossible.” He said it’s simple – he has always wanted to rope for a living instead of work a day job.
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“If I don’t make the Finals, I gotta go to work,” said the always-humble Brown. “I’ve just been lucky. I’ve had some great horses and great partners and I set out every year that I’ll do whatever I need to do to make it happen, no matter what.”
Really, Brown only felt nervous during one season – it was in 2015 when he and Kollin VonAhn hovered outside the magic list until almost August. In Vegas, they went ahead and won the average and VonAhn left with a gold buckle.
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“Going into Reno with a lot of money won is a way better feeling than sitting outside the top 15, because it’s hard to make ground up sometimes,” Brown said. “People rope so good and trying to get around them sometimes is really hard to do.”
Still, he’s the first to admit that being amongst the 15 best horn ropers every single year has nothing to do with having a good NFR. Right now he and about 50,000 fans are all excited the Brown/Eaves show is coming to Sin City for the very first time.
Brown plans to repeat the same mantra he uses all year – “you’ve got to catch to win.” And as for continuing his streak of qualifications?
“I’ll keep knocking them down and see what happens,” he said. “You never know. Rodeo’s changing a little bit with some bigger rodeos paying a little more, so everything’s just getting better and better. It’s exciting to be part of it.”
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