As Trevor Brazile prepares for his 11th trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, he appears ready to join the elite company of Tom Ferguson and Larry Mahan with his sixth world all-around title. (Of course, Ty Murray's record of seven remains the standard.)
But Brazile is quick to explain that the easiest way to lose the all-around race is to worry about it.
"I don't get wrapped up in the all-around," he said. "I try to focus on each event and do my best there and let the all-around take care of itself."
Since Trevor won't make predictions, we will. Barring an injury that renders him unable to compete-and remember last year he roped calves and team roped with a herniated disc-he will win No. 6.
Although he'll be the only cowboy competing in two events in Las Vegas, Cash Myers has qualified in two as well. Both Brazile and Myers were qualified to rope at the National Finals Steer Roping in Hobbs, N.M., the weekend after the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship in Dallas. (Both events happened after this magazine went to press.) Myers qualified for Dallas in the steer wrestling and Brazile in the tie-down roping.
"I'm hoping to go to Dallas and get another $20,000 going into the Finals," Brazile said. "But I'm sure those other guys are hoping to do the same thing."
Brazile also faces competition from Josh Peek, who will also be in Dallas and can shut Trevor out of some of that prize money if he does well there.
"A guy's never out in that all-around category," Peek said. "You never know, Trevor can be snakebit just like anybody else. There's a good chance that the all-around is going to be tough to get because he's got three events and I only made it in one, but I never count myself out of anything. Anything can happen in this sport with injuries, the draw and bad luck."
Last year, of course, Brazile's plan of taking each event individually worked beautifully. He won the steer roping, tie-down roping and all-around crowns-not to mention $425,115 on the season, the most in ProRodeo's history.
Unless a figurative snake slithers into his rope bag, there's no reason why Trevor can't do it again.