The Athens Review
FORT WORTH —
Dan Fisher is the oldest athlete ever to compete in a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals show.
The 61-year-old broke the record when he competed at the Nov. 2-3 National Finals Steer Roping at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie, Okla.
Fisher, who lives in the West Texas town of Andrews, also broke his own record that he set two years ago when he competed in the NFSR at 59.
“I’ve never really slowed down,” Fisher said. “It’s just something I do year after year. I just stick to ranching and practicing roping everyday. It’s just been a way of life for the past 40 years.”
During the 2012 NFSR, Fisher earned $10,808 after making 10 runs. He finished 12th in the world title race after pocketing $40,247 throughout 2012.
Fisher has 15 NFSR qualifications. He earned his first back number in 1986.
“There have been years I’ve missed qualifying for the Finals as the result of having knee surgery,” Fisher said. “But during those times, I’ve always rehabbed well and rebounded.”
Last year, Fisher missed qualifying for the NFSR after undergoing prostate cancer surgery. But he rapidly recovered and qualified for the 2012 edition in 13th place.
Fisher also competes against his two sons, Vin and J. Tom, who are former qualifiers to the National Finals Steer Roping. Vin Fisher, 31, competed in last weekend’s NFSR and finished third in the 2012 world title race with $86,503.
Trevor Brazile began the 2012 regular season with an opportunity to break the record for the most world titles in the PRCA.
But after finishing second in the world title race at the Nov. 2-3 National Finals Steer Roping, the Decatur cowboy will have to wait at least another year.
The record is 18 gold buckles, currently held by steer roper Guy Allen. Brazile has 16 world titles.
The best Brazile can do this year is tie Allen. He can finish 2012 with 18 gold buckles if he clinches the all-around and team roping world titles at the Dec. 6-15 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Brazile will enter next month's NFR (at the Thomas & Mack Center) with the all-around title almost clinched. His season total of $247,977 is ranked first in the PRCA standings. Bronc rider Steven Dent is second with $144,465.
Brazile also is ranked No. 1 in team roping heading with $132,254.
A close race
Though Trevor Brazile won the average (the best aggregate time after 10 runs) and $32,192 during the Nov. 2-3 National Finals Steer Roping, he finished second in the overall 2012 world race, $419 behind gold buckle winner Rocky Patterson.
Patterson, who lives in Pratt, Kan., clinched his third world title. He also won the gold buckle in 2009 and 2010.
Patterson had to win the last round at the NFSR in order to clinch the title. He paced the 15-man field in Round 10 with a time of 10.3, earning $5,077, which was enough to hold off Brazile. Had Patterson finished second in Round 10 and earned a $4,077 paycheck, Brazile would have finished first.
Patterson also finished fifth in the average ($3,321), which was the last slot for earning a paycheck.
Patterson clinched the title after earning $91,932. Brazile finished runner-up with $91,513.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram during the past 25 years. Email him at email@example.com.