Brandon Gonzales is originally from Seboyeta, New Mexico, a small village part of a Spanish land grant formed in the 18th century. For years, the 7 header and 9 heeler, who grew up roping maverick cattle on the mountains like generations of his family had done, had been trying to win a New Mexico Rodeo Association team roping title.
“I usually rope with my brother out there, because that’s where we’re from,” Gonzales, who now calls Lipan, Texas, home, said. “It actually meant a whole lot. He pulled his groin and couldn’t rope at the Finals, but we roped together most of the year.”
Gonzales roped with Seth Hall at the NMRA Finals, where they won the average with a time of 11.1 seconds on two head, including a 5.2-second first-round win.
“I tried for several years, and I heeled at first. I went to heading and I tried for three more years, and in the fourth year I finally won it.”
2011 was a big year for Gonzales, because a few months later, he and Josh Morris were fourth in the average at the Open at the USTRC’s Cinch National Finals of Team Roping in Oklahoma City, worth $11,150 a man for a time of 43.05 seconds on six head.