By Dave Wagner: CNJ staff writer
Trevor Brazile has had many good nights en route to Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association records of $4 million in earnings and eight all-around cowboy titles in the last nine years.
Thursday wasn’t one of them in the 41st Pioneer Days Rodeo at Curry County Event Center.
Brazile, in the midst of competing in three rodeos this weekend, was in second place after the first night of steer roping with a combined time of 33.3 seconds on three steers. But he failed to post a time in team roping, with partner Patrick Smith of Midland, Texas, or calf roping.
“I know I broke the barrier and left too quick in tie-down (calf roping),” said Brazile, 34, from Decatur, Texas. “I just didn’t do my job very good tonight.”
It’s understandable, though.
Brazile was in Silver City for a rodeo earlier Thursday, then left Clovis immediately to return to Silver City for an 8 a.m. start today. He’s also competing in a rodeo on Saturday at Window Rock, Ariz.
Brazile has been a regular in Clovis.
“I try to make it because they have steer roping (which some rodeos don’t),” he said. “They have a good crowd here, a rodeo-savvy crowd.”
Brazile, who competes in about 70 rodeos a year, broke the retired Ty Murray’s all-around cowboy record in 2010. He’s rodeoed professionally since 1996, and got his start in the sport around age 4.
He also has three calf roping and three team roping titles.
“My dad was involved in the sport, and my mother was involved in barrels (barrel racing),” he said. “I had rodeo on both sides of my family.”
Brazile’s wife and two children often accompany him, although they didn’t make it this weekend.
He said he doesn’t have a favorite event.
“I love it all,” he said. “I just really enjoy the sport.”
The prize money has been great, but it’s costly to compete.
“There’s a lot of expenses,” he said. “But I’m pretty pleased with the career I’ve had and what rodeo has enabled me to do.”
Brazile doesn’t know at this point how long will he continue in the physically demanding sport.
“Probably four more years for sure,” he said. “You never know after that.”
The event was conducted indoors for the third consecutive year, which is a good thing considering Thursday’s much-needed rain in the area.
“Used to, you could always count on the Pioneer Days Rodeo to bring rain,” said Jerry Fulgham, president of Mounted Patrol, which puts on the event. “Sure enough, it rained.
“Last time we had it outdoors, the wind was blowing 30 or 40 mph.”
Fulgham said 450 contestants are on hand this weekend, up from 425 in 2010. “Slack” competition is scheduled for today and Saturday morning to accommodate everyone, he said.