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Decatur cowboys battle for title: Brazile announces semi-retirement

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Slowing down

SLOWING DOWN – Trevor Brazile, who has a record 23 world titles on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, announced last week he will enter into semi-retirement from pro rodeo. Starting in 2019, he mostly compete in rodeos close to home. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

It’s a big time battle between in-laws at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Defending world all-around champion, Tuf Cooper, and Trevor Brazile, who has a record 23 world titles on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, are duking it out for this year’s all-around crown.

Brazile is married to Cooper’s sister, Shada Brazile, who competed in the 2013 NFR in barrel racing.

Cooper, of Decatur, entered the finals ranked No. 1 in the world all-around title race with $239,857. Brazile, also of Decatur, is second with $234,154.

Cooper and Brazile qualified for the WNFR in tie-down roping and the two men competed in the third of 10 National Finals performances Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.

The PRCA’s world all-around title is the sport’s most coveted award. Since the National Finals’ humble beginnings in 1959 at Dallas’ Fair Park Coliseum, the all-around championship has been snared by iconic cowboys such as Jim Shoulders (a 1950s star), Larry Mahan (1960s and 1970s), Tom Ferguson (1970s), Ty Murray (1990s), and Brazile (2000s and 2010s), who has earned it a record 13 times (2002-04, 2006-15).

To clinch the all-around title, a competitor must earn prize money in multiple events on the PRCA circuit. Cooper also is a world class steer roping competitor. Brazile is a world class team roper and steer roper.

Cooper and Brazile relish their overly friendly rivalry and working relationship. The two men regularly practice roping together and sometimes travel together.

Cooper, 28, said he has great respect for Brazile, a 42-year-old cowboy.

“It’s an honor to be in a race with the King of the Cowboys, my brother-in-law, the best cowboy ever to get on a horse and compete,” Cooper said. “We both want to win it [the all-around title] and we both want to bring the title back home to the family every year.”

Cooper, who lassoed his first all-around gold buckle last year, said Brazile has had tremendous influence on his success as a rodeo cowboy.

“Any time I get to spend with him, it rubs off on me,” Cooper said of Brazile. “He’s a great leader, a great role model, a great mentor and I’m very blessed to have him in my life. Just being around greatness has rubbed off on me.”

Brazile said he and Cooper are a good influence on one another.

“Every practice session we’ve had has been together the past two months,” Brazile said. “We rope together and so at the end of the day, iron sharpens iron. It’s been said 1,000 times, but it’s true, especially when it comes to our family. We make each other better.”

Cooper is the son of eight-time world champion, Roy Cooper, and a grandson of Clifton Smith of Childress who qualified for the finals in 1960 and 1962. He’s also a nephew of Stran Smith of Childress who clinched the PRCA’s tie-down roping world title in 2008.

Brazile is the son of former National Finals Steer Roping qualifier Jimmy Brazile.

Trevor Brazile announced last week that he will enter into semi-retirement from pro rodeo and mainly will compete in the larger rodeos that are close to his home such as the Fort Worth Stock Show’s PRCA Rodeo (Jan. 25-Feb. 9 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum) and the RFD-TVs The American (March 2-3) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Brazile said a much lighter rodeo schedule will allow him to spend more quality time with his family. He and Shada Brazile have three children – a son, Treston, 11, and daughters, Style, 8, and Swayi, 3.

ONE TALENTED RIDER

Tatum Rice of Weatherford has won the National Cutting Horse Association’s two most prestigious titles eight days apart.

On Dec. 1, he was crowned as the sport’s open division champion rider at the NCHA World Finals at Fort Worth’s W.R. Watt Arena. He clinched the coveted title on a stallion named Hashtags.

On Sunday, Rice and a filly named Crey Zee clinched NCHA World Championship Futurity open division title with a final round score of 222 at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. Crey Zee’s owners, Kevin and Sydney Knight of Weatherford, earned the coveted $183,074 prize.

The Futurity was the sport’s most prominent annual show that featured the cutting horse industry’s most promising debuting 3-year-old horses.

When the 2018 Futurity title was at stake, Rice and Crey Zee, who were the first duo to compete during Sunday’s 21-horse finals, turned in the attention-grabbing 222. The score held up for the rest of the performance.

Rice, 33, said Crey Zee is a very fast athletic horse with lots of determination.

“She’s named appropriately – she is crazy,” Rice said. “She’s wild. But she wants to be good. She’s incredibly fast and she tries.”

Adan Banuelos, 30, of Granbury and a stallion named Badboonarising was the Futurity’s reserve champion with a 221. Badboonarising’s owners, Plantation Farms of Denham Springs, La., earned $161,539.

In an eight-day span, Rice has won the most coveted prize in the NCHA’s two main circuits: the open division title at weekend shows and aged events. The open division is primarily comprised of pro riders who train cutting horses as their livelihood.

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.

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