Roping superstar Trevor Brazile has earned a record 25 world titles on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.
The legendary cowboy from Decatur earned gold buckle No. 25 by clinching the 2019 PRCA steer roping world title at last weekend’s National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kansas, in the Wichita area.
Brazile, 43, turned pro in 1996 and clinched his first of 25 world titles 17 years ago when he lassoed the world all-around title at the 2002 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
After clinching the world all-around title at the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Brazile entered into semiretirement so he could spend more time with his family.
But he diligently competed in PRCA steer roping competitions throughout the 2019 and clinched the world title.
“It’s been a really good fit,” Brazile said of being in semiretirement this year. “I didn’t want to quit rodeoing cold turkey because it’s all I’ve ever known. But competing in the steer roping event gave me my competition fix.”
All in all, Brazile has earned 14 world all-around titles (2002-04, 2006-15 and 2018), seven steer roping gold buckles (2006-07, 2011, 2013-15 and 2019), three tie-down roping world championships (2007 and 2009-10) and one team roping heading title (2010).
With 25 world titles, Brazile ranks No. 1 for the most PRCA gold buckles, seven more than Guy Allen who has 18. All of Allen’s world championships are in steer roping.
Brazile’s 25 world titles are the most in multiple categories. Allen’s 18 steer roping titles are the most in the single event category.
Asked if he thought he would earn 25 titles when he began competing, Brazile said: “No way. Not even close. I’ve been blessed beyond measure. I would never have pretended to see this coming.”
At the Nov. 22-23 National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Brazile earned $56,707.10. Almost half his NFSR earnings was a $27,347 check for winning the NFSR average title, which meant he turned in the best aggregate time on 10 runs.
Brazile was the only competitor among the 15-man field who made 10 qualified runs. He clinched the average title with a 10-run time of 131.0 seconds.
Brazile said he didn’t merely place an heavy emphasis on going after first place checks in each round, but he instead focused on turning in a qualified time in each round and finishing somewhere in the money in each time he competed.
Brazile placed in six of the 10 rounds at the NFSR.
Brazile also said he focused on consistently making solid runs throughout the NFSR in order to finish strongly in the average race.
“The focus was so much on getting them tied down and just getting money as we go and not necessarily first place checks were that important as much as staying where we were in the average and getting money when we could in the rounds,” Brazile said of competing in the NFSR.
When the dust settled, Brazile clinched the 2019 steer roping world title with $129,552.32 that was earned throughout the 2019 regular season and at last weekend’s National Finals Steer Roping.
Vin Fisher Jr., a Texas Tech graduate who is from Andrews, finished second in the 2019 steer roping world title race with $121,834.04. He earned $60,989.55 at the NFSR, the most of all competitors. Fisher finished second in the average race with a nine-run time of 114.10.
Landon McClaugherty of Tilden finished third in the 2019 steer roping world title race with $90,246.90. He earned $44,140.60 throughout the NFSR.
Four-time world champion Tuf Cooper, a Childress native who has homes in Weatherford and Decatur, earned $22,730.40 at the NFSR and finished fourth in the 2019 world title race with $79,576.69.
Cooper also has qualified for Dec. 5-14 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in tie-down roping. He’s ranked No. 4 in the tie-down roping world title race with $105,592.44. Defending world champion Caleb Smidt of Bellville is ranked No. 1 with $131,899.95.
Cooper, who snared the 2017 world all-around title, is ranked No. 3 in the 2019 world all-around title race going into the 2019 Las Vegas-based National Finals with $159,755.56. Rookie Stetson Wright, a Utah cowboy, is ranked No. 1 with $182,999.49.
Meanwhile, Garrett Hale, a Texas Tech graduate from Snyder, earned $33,917.25 at last weekend’s NFSR and finished fifth in the 2019 world title race with $74,227.41.
J. Tom Fisher, a Texas Tech graduate who is from Andrews, earned $22,414.70 at the 2019 NFSR and finished sixth in the 2019 world standings with $74,218.14.
Death of a legend
Robert C. “Bob” Norris, owner of the famous T-Cross Ranches of Colorado and Arizona, as well as Quarter Horse breeder who played the first Marlboro Man on television, passed away on Nov. 3, according to a Nov. 7 article by accomplished novelist Mara Purl on nchacutting.com.
Norris also served as president of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1982. He also was a former National Cutting Horse Association member.
Purl wrote: “If any man could be described in three words, for Bob they would be ‘the real deal.’ His solid authenticity, whether astride a horse, sitting in a board room, mentoring a child or sharing a moment with a friend, was his personal and professional brand. No doubt it was these qualities—along with his tall, ruggedly handsome, lanky good looks—that landed him the unexpected role of the first Marlboro Man on television.
"The iconic commercials ran for about fourteen years in the U.S. and Europe. Rather than taking his fame seriously, he enjoyed the adventure. Bob regaled his friends with various misadventures during these shoots, often highlighting the fictional world of television with the real world of ranching he actually lived. But Bob, never a smoker, abandoned the campaign when he felt he was setting a poor example for his children.
"His acting career might have continued, however, when John Wayne offered him a role in the 1971 film 'Big Jake.' Instead, he and Wayne began a friendship when Bob helped with the star’s first foray into the cattle business. Wayne came to several of Norris’ horse sales and the two became close friends. Bob and Jane spent more than a dozen Thanksgivings with the Waynes at their Arizona Ranch.”
Norris is a grandfather of 2013 National Finals Rodeo barrel racing qualifier Shada Brazile, a former Childress resident who lives in Decatur. Shada Brazile is the wife of Trevor Brazile and the sister of Tuf Cooper.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Roundup for Autism www.roundupforautism.org or to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) www.taps.org\colorado which helps families of fallen veterans.
On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Daylon Swearingen of Piffard, N.Y., clinched the 2019 PBR Canada title at the 2019 PBR Monster Energy Canadian Finals last weekend in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Swearingen stayed on all four of the bulls faced at the Nov. 22-23 Saskatoon championships. He turned in scores of 83, 87, 86 and 89. He clinched the event title at the Canadian Finals by earning 1782.5 points.
Swearingen finished No. 1 in the 2019 PBR Canada title race with 3,841.25 points. Dakota Buttar finished second with 3,390.83.
Swearingen earned $19,600 throughout the Canadian Finals, plus a $50,000 bonus for finishing as the 2019 PBR Canada champion.
All in all, he earned $96,898.39 on the PBR Canada circuit throughout 2019.
Swearingen, 20, has had a remarkable year as a bull rider. In June, he clinched the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association bull riding title at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., while competing for Panola College in Carthage. He also competed in the Nov. 6-10 PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. He also has qualified for the PRCA’s Dec. 5-14 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos and horse shows for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at email@example.com.