Trevor Brazile clinched his sixth NFR title of All-Around Cowboy (one who competes in at least three different events) in round 6 of the 50th National Finals Rodeo. How big a deal is this? In fifty years only three other cowboys have won the title six or more times. The short list includes Larry Mahan, Tom Ferguson and Ty Murray who holds the record of seven all-around titles.
It should be noted that Trevor competes in timed events while one of Ty Murray's events was bull-riding which is much harder on a cowboy's body, though it takes nothing away from Trevor's feat. Not only did he win All-Around Cowboy he did it with style, winning the round in Tie-down roping with a 7.7 time to beat out young Tuf Cooper. Trevor also competes in Team Roping where he's been struggling a little and steer roping where the finals are held seperately.
If all of this isn't enough, with the Tie-down roping win, Trevor also surpassed Joe Beaver's record for the highest career earnings and, as of today, now leads with $3,050,194. That $3 million mark is a big milestone for a rodeo cowboy. Unlike other professional sports, cowboys don't get paid a salary, they have a chance to earn only if they compete and the purse money, though increasing, is still small in comparison to what athletes in other professional sports earn. Particularly considering competitors have to shoulder all their expenses--food, lodging, transportation and entry fees--yes they have to pay to play. And they also have to pay for all the expenses for their horses (in timed events) as well. So while $3 million is significant, once you subtract all the expenses, including taxes, and spread it over Trevor's twelve year career and, while still impressive, it by no means constitutes wealthy. And Trevor, like all rodeo cowboys, works hard for his money--training, traveling and competing. So hats off to Trevor Brazile--2008 All-Around Cowboy--Well done!
You can find the National Finals Rodeo on ESPN2, usually late in the evening so don't forget to set the DVR.