Brazile inducted into ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2022
A conversation with rodeo’s living legend on the day of his induction
The name and face of Texas cowboy Trevor Brazile has almost become synonymous with the sport of rodeo. That is what happens when you break a long list of records and pile up an astounding 26 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world titles in the sport, along with becoming the first competitor ever to surpass $7,000,000 in career earnings. The PRCA honored Brazile and 10 other rodeo icons with induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 16, 2022, where Lincoln Rogers was able to have a conversation with the most recognizable person in the sport over the last 25 years. (Note: Some questions and answers have been edited for length)
Rogers: You have had a career that has been excellent for a long period of time. When you look back on it, what do you think of your career?
Brazile: I am just so thankful. Number 1 — I got to do what I loved to do for as long as I did. Secondly, I got to walk away on my own terms. I was real fortunate to be able to do that. I have seen a lot of guys not be able to do that and that was real important to me, because it helps to make that transition. To know that I did what I wanted to do and then I was able to go onto the next phase. We all have seasons in our life. I felt mine was extraordinarily long in this sport, and I loved every bit of it. Everything I have, in some way shape or form, is from rodeo.
Rogers: Is there anything you can point to or anything you wish to credit for your success in rodeo?
Brazile: Just my competition and my peers being as good as they were and having different talents and strengths. Seeing people bigger, stronger, faster, and with more talent kept me working harder and harder. I tried to look at all of my peers and know where I needed to get better. At the end of the deal, the variable that leveled the playing field for me was great horses. That helped me work on my horsemanship more than I think I ever would have if I thought that I had that talent and physical attributes that a lot of them did.
Rogers: You obviously had a passion for rodeo —
Rogers: Is there anything you can look at and say, this was my favorite part of rodeo?
Brazile: The horses. The horses. From there it went to, you can’t be a professional cowboy and be too proud to get help. I think you would miss out on so much of the great things about rodeo. When you are traveling and meeting so many great people and those great people… they become your extended family and you spend a lot of down time at all these places all across the world. You meet a lot of great people.
Rogers: How nice is it to compete in a sport where competitors support and help each other, even though they are the competition?
Brazile: You know, that is our western industry. Our western industry is salt of the earth people like that that not only would help, but also know that in this industry, you are never immune to needing help. That just becomes reciprocal. It helps you know that everyone is going through a different season, different part of their journey. Sometimes you need help and sometimes you are able to help.
Rogers: You see some people being inducted many years after their careers have been finished and family members accepting because other honorees are no longer with us. How satisfying is it to you to be recognized by the Hall of Fame so soon after you finished your career?
Brazile: You know, just like anything I am sure there is good and bad to it. I think it has to be even that much sweeter when you have waited that long and can put stuff into perspective. But I wouldn’t trade mine for anything, either, because I am still so close to the game and it is just a really great to have this soon, especially.
Rogers: Are there high points where you can say those were my favorite moments or times of the sport?
Brazile: My wife and my family contributed so much to my success. Once I had reached a goal of passing Ty Murray’s All Around record, my wife got a chance to go and run barrels herself. We made the National Finals the same year (2013), so that is one of my best feelings is to know she had that kind of talent herself and still helped me reach the goals we had set originally.
Rogers: Any favorite rodeos?
Brazile: I love Pendleton.
Rogers: Why did you like it so much?
Brazile: The challenges it brought. There is nothing like it. It is on the grass. It had a cowboy feel to it. They gave amazing awards. And there was its own set of strategies that came along with it.
Rogers: It was a different challenge?
Rogers: Talking to you, it sounds like meeting a challenge is one of the things you loved about your career in rodeo?
Brazile: I think it takes a challenge to get heightened senses to actually be at the top of your game in anything. I think if your challenges are vanilla, it demands mediocracy.
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