After finishing in the money in Round 9 on Friday night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Trevor Brazile of Decatur became the first Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competitor to surpass $6 million in career earnings.
Technically speaking, Brazile, 39, reached the milestone after finishing first in the team-roping round early in the performance with partner Patrick Smith of Lipan.
Brazile entered the day with earnings of $5,994,397. He needed to finish in at least fifth place in the round in either team roping or tie-down roping to surpass the $6 million mark.
A fifth-place check is worth $6,769. But Brazile did way better when he earned $26,330 after he and Smith won the round with a time of 4.0 seconds at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Brazile, who has 23 world titles, said he had no idea that he would earn more than $6 million when he turned pro in 1996.
“It’s awesome,” Brazile said. “I’m so blessed. It just shows that rodeo has gotten better.”
Later in the performance, Brazile tied for fourth in the round in tie-down roping after turning in a 7.4 ($8,884). He is first in the tie-down roping world-title race with $196,723. Tuf Cooper is second with $187,976.
Brazile will go for the tie-down roping title Saturday night when the NFR concludes its 10-day run.
North Carolina’s J.B. Mauney, who earned $6,708,479 on the Professional Bull Riders tour over the past decade, is the highest earner in an association that features only bull riding.
Weatherford cowboy Phil Rapp has pocketed $8,549,673 on the National Cutting Horse Association circuit over the past three decades, is the highest-earning cowboy in a horse show association.
Lindy Burch, who 35 years ago became the first woman to win the NCHA World Championship Futurity open division finals, has qualified for the 2015 Futurity finals.
In 1980, Burch won the Futurity title aboard Mis Royal Mahogany. This weekend, the Weatherford cowgirl will attempt to win the open title aboard Bet Shes Smooth.
Burch and Bet Shes Smooth advanced to Saturday night’s Futurity finals after turning in a 219.5 during the Friday semifinal at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Another horse and rider to watch during is Amandas CD Matt Miller of Poolville. The duo turned in a 224 during the semifinal.
But during the final, no previous scores will count. The owner of the horse with the highest score of the performance will receive the coveted $200,000 prize. The performance begins at 6 p.m.
In the Futurity non-pro finals on Thursday night, Armando Costa Neto won the title with a finals score of 224. The horse’s owner, Barrinha LLC of Weatherford, earned $27,852.