Wrangler National Finals Rodeo: Round 8

Winning both tie-down and team roping, AQHA member Trevor Brazile, the King of the Cowboys, reigns yet again.

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

On a night when the King of the Cowboys reigned yet again, a young star also was crowned.

The incomparable Trevor Brazile won the team roping with heeling partner Travis Graves, then shared the tie-down roping win with Matt Shiozawa for a memorable Round 8 at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

No cowboy had won two events in one night at the WNFR since Jesse Bail won the bull riding and shared the win in saddle bronc riding in Round 4 in 2001. It’s happened 11 times in the 56 years of the Finals that a cowboy won two events in one night.

A sellout crowd of 17,811 at the Thomas & Mack Center was thrilled by Brazile – who has won a record 21 world championships

Brazile, who has 45 Finals qualifications (which ties him for that record with Tee Woolman), knows all about the spotlight. He won the steer roping gold buckle last month and clinched his 12th consecutive all-around world championship in Round 3 of the WNFR, and still has a chance to win two other titles – which would be unprecedented.

Brazile sits third in the Windham Weaponry High Performance Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings in tie-down roping and third in the average. In team roping, he’s second in the world and third in the average.

“Trevor’s the king,” Graves said. “He’s a great competitor, and it’s an honor to get to rope with him. We’ve had a blast this year. He’s a great partner all the way around. You couldn’t ask for a better partner. He’s a great competitor and a great person, and he has a great work ethic.”

Brazile remains focused on the final two rounds.

“We’ve come a long ways, but we still have a long way to go,” he said. “Two rounds doesn’t sound like much when you say it fast, but there’s still a lot of rodeo left.”

Brazile and Graves have each won $159,632 in team roping. Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill lead the world with $160,292 and also lead the average; they’re the only team to record a time in all eight rounds, while Brazile and Graves are among three teams to post a time in seven rounds.

Brazile has won $153,768 in the tie-down roping event this year, and is third in the average with a time of 75.2 seconds on eight head. Two-time world champion tie-down roper Tuf Cooper – who is Brazile’s brother-in-law – leads the world standings with $181,662 and is second in the average with a time of 72.6 seconds on eight head. Shiozawa is second in the world standings with $165,561, and first in the average with a time of 70.9 seconds on eight head.

“There’s no secret in tie-down,” Brazile said. “I have to blast. I have to do all I can do every night. I’m the one having to catch up, not sustain. It obviously makes it more fun. What people don’t understand when you come out here with a lead to protect (is that) there are just some things you have to do, and sometimes it’s not the glamorous way to rope. You’re just tending to business and I’ve done that a lot out here. It’s always more fun to be the underdog.”

Shiozawa has been consistently fast all year, but said luck could help determine the champ.

“The draw is going to play a factor in it some, and you’re going to have to draw good and use what you get,” Shiozawa said. “Overall, the next two sets of calves should be good. If you can’t look forward to this, then you’re missing it.”

Brazile has earned $421,271 in 2014, the fourth highest total in ProRodeo history. It’s the fifth time in history for a contestant to surpass $400,000 – and each time it’s been by Brazile. His record for annual earnings is $507,921 in 2010.

Steer Wrestling

Kyle Irwin grabbed at least a share of his third round win, as he tied Ty Erickson for first place in Round 8 with a time of 3.7 seconds. Irwin split the Round 2 win and took Round 3 outright; he’s won $57,927 in his first WNFR.

“This is great and in a humble way, I always thought if I got here I could do some good because I like to go fast and this is a fast setup,” Irwin said. “It’s been a great experience and I’m lovin’ it.”

Erickson, also competing in his first Finals, was thrilled to take his first victory lap and earn a trip to the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa for the go-round buckle presentation.

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” Erickson said. “My first Finals and I get to make a trip out to the South Point. It’s exciting. I just had a good steer. I’ve been kind of late a couple times this week, and tonight I finally got a good start and made a good run on the ground.”

Barrel Racing

Barrel racer Mary Walker, the 2012 world champion, claimed her first round win of this Finals with a time of 13.79 seconds.

“It’s been a bit frustrating this week because I have hit so many barrels,” Walker said. “Tonight I did a bit change, which I have never done before, but I talked to my friend (former WNFR qualifier) Sue Smith and she gave me a few suggestions of things to try and it all seemed to work. I am just so glad that things turned around and I was able to get this win.”

Lisa Lockhart placed second in the round in 13.81. Lockhart is second in the world and moved within $11,540 of world leader Fallon Taylor.

Lockhart leads the average with a time of 116.95 seconds, and Taylor is second with 117.10.

RAM Top Gun Award

Bull rider Sage Kimzey leads the RAM Top Gun Award standings with $107,731. Taylor is second with $87,350, followed by Lockhart with $85,664 and saddle bronc rider Spencer Wright at $80,147.

Visit www.prorodeo.com for full results from Round 8, plus coverage of the roughstock events.

The 56th annual Wrangler NFR continues Friday with the ninth round at the Thomas & Mack Center. The action will be televised live and in HD on CBS Sports Net (DirecTV channel 221 and DISH Network channel 158) from 7-10 p.m. (PT) with hosts Jeff Medders and Butch Knowles.

WNFR Coverage on www.aqha.com/showing

  • Round 10 – Competing in timed events at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, AQHA members claim world championships in Las Vegas.
  • Round 9 – These AQHA members are poised for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championships heading into the final round.
  • Round 8 – Winning both tie-down and team roping, AQHA member Trevor Brazile, the King of the Cowboys, reigns yet again.
  • Round 7 – AQHA members Cody Ohl and Tuf Cooper share the Round 7 tie-down roping title in Las Vegas.
  • Round 6 – AQHA members keep their ProRodeo world championship hopes alive December 9 in Las Vegas.
  • Round 5 – Stock of AQHA Professional Horsemen Charlie Cole, Jason Martin and Tom and Leslie Lange strike it big December 8 in Las Vegas.
  • Round 4 – AQHA members, including Fallon Taylor and "BabyFlo," showed their mettle December 7 at rodeo's Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
  • Round 3 – AQHA member Trevor Brazile earns his 21st gold buckle December 6 in Las Vegas.
  • Round 2 – AQHA members Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager set a team-roping record for the round December 5 in Las Vegas.
  • Round 1 – American Quarter Horses take their riders to the top of Round 1 of rodeo's Super Bowl December 4 in Las Vegas.
  • 2014 AQHA-PRCA Horses of the Year