“Alone at the Top,” was how the Pro Rodeo Sports News Magazine described the crowning of Trevor Brazile, world champion all-around cowboy, for the 8th time, a world record.
It took Sir Edmund Hilary seven weeks to climb Mt. Everest, Admiral Peary 23 years to find the North Pole, Freckles Brown was 46 when he rode Tornado and it took me two tries to pass physiological chemistry in vet school!
All monumental achievements. All-around champion should come with a prefixed title, some way we could address them properly like: Sir Trevor or Colonel Trevor or King Trevor. Others have earned their own titles; think of Princess Di, Judge Roy Bean, Super Man, Machine Gun Kelly, Slick Willie, or Speedy West. I guess Trevor wouldn’t care if we called him “Champ.” Mohamed Ali was okay with that, but…“Alone at the Top.” I saw him do it at the National Finals Rodeo last December. When he made his last ride around the arena, the crowd stood and applauded for a full minute just to let it soak in. We knew what he had done and we wanted him to know, to understand, that we recognized his greatness. Trevor the Great.
Face to face, he seems like a regular person. He doesn’t wear a crown, or an Elvis cape, or guns like Roy Rogers. But on the back of a good horse with a rope in his hand, he becomes Zeus, the thunder rattling, lightening striking, mythical god of the sizzling twine-magic hand, two wraps and a hooey.
I’m put to mind of another All-Around World Champion who has not received the attention of the more flamboyant rough-stock World Champions like Larry Mahan, six times winner, and Ty Murray, seven times winner. When I was doing the pre-rodeo announcing for the Snake River Stampede and the Caldwell Night Rodeo in the 70’s, Tom Ferguson, Miami, Oklahoma, was the Big Dog in the wolf pack.
He was a tie-down roper like Trevor, but also a steer wrestler. He dominated the game in his day. Like all world-champions will tell you, the competition was tough. He won the All-Around Champion buckle six times, but like no other rodeo cowboy to this day, Tom won the title six years in a row!
So with a tip of the hat to Tom, I pay homage to Trevor Brazile. Eight times All-Around World Champion Cowboy; the man, the machine, and the legend. Joe Louis “The Brown Bomber,” held the World Champion heavy-weight boxing title for 11 years and eight months. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana won four Super Bowls each.
Trevor Brazile is not done.