If the world’s richest cowboy likes coming to your rodeo, you’ve got a good thing going.
The endorsement of seven-time World All Around Champion Trevor Brazile was the best 50th anniversary present Jack Daines could have ever received for his rodeo.
The much-decorated Texan flew all the way up from the deep south to make his appointment at the Daines Ranch, despite having been out of action with an injured elbow.
Brazile delighted the fans on the hill at the ranch by jumping out to the lead in both his events, the tie-down roping and the team roping.
“The whole atmosphere here at Innisfail is just a lot of fun,” praised Brazile, who is the sport’s only cowboy to have earned over $3 million in his career. “I’ve been on injured reserve for 30 days, and this is my first rodeo back. I hated to miss it. I’ve got the chance now to come out of here with a lot of money. This rodeo could make a big difference in my season, as well as it’s a great one to attend and have fun at.”
Brazile is the reining world tie-down champion, and he showed his stuff with a rapid 7.8 second run, to move into first. Daines was so excited he suggested the crowd give a standing ovation, and the fans obliged. Brazile’s excited rodeo fans in a lot of arenas all over the U.S., but says that was his first standing ‘O’.
Moments earlier, he and his partner Patrick Smith took over the top spot in team roping with a smooth five second flat run, both on borrowed horses.
Smith and Brazile are the defending team roping champions at Innisfail, and Brazile earned a decent cheque in the tie-down roping last year as well.
“We’ve had good luck here. This rodeo used to be under water a lot. The only two years we’ve been here, the weather’s been great, and we’ve had great success, so you can count on us coming back.”
The ironic thing is Brazile very nearly missed entering the rodeo, but for the persistent Daines himself.
“Jack did phone me. I’ve never seen a committee man, or a president, or I don’t even know Jack’s title here, but whatever it is, he’s the main man. I go all over and I couldn’t miss this because I know his heart and soul are here. You can tell. Nobody works that hard and it goes unnoticed. It’s a great rodeo and you couldn’t let Jack down. You want to do your best when you come here because he works so hard to put on a great rodeo.”
But Brazile was at the Lone Star Park in Dallas at the horse races marking the U.S. Memorial Day holiday and visiting with the owner of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner when he got a call from Jack reminding him to enter Innisfail. Brazile didn’t realize it was a working day, and entry deadline day, in Canada.
The two Texans flew up to Calgary Saturday afternoon, and headed to Innisfail. They jumped on fellow cowboy’s horses to do their stuff.
Brazile borrowed a mount from Dale Skocdopole of Big Valley in the team roping, and fellow Texan Monty Lewis for the tie-down roping.
“You can’t do it without friends. That’s what’s different about this sport than any others, the friends you take with you when you’re done.”
Canada’s current all-round champion Steven Turner was another cowboy who had an outstanding day at the office. He jumped on a Cassidy horse in the steer wrestling, and in a blink, made a tough pen of steers look easy when he muscled his draw over in 4.4 seconds to take over first. Then he ran down the arena to warm up his bull rope for a dance in the dirt with Good Vibrations. The bull went into a spin but the Cochrane cowboy was solid in the middle, and the judges rewarded his effort with 89 points.
That means he, too, has the lead in two events, and also is in line for a lot of cash if things don’t change Sunday.
“We were in Wanham last night and drove all night to get to Coronation, and we were in that little rodeo today,” recalled Turner. “I was tired, but ended up placing in the bulldogging there. I got bucked off my bull, but I figured I was just saving it for here,” he said.
“I knew I had a good bull, and the steer wrestling here was pretty wide open, and the steer I had looked pretty good. I stole the start, and luckily the steer just took it. That was amazing, and then I knew I had the bull to win it on too. The bull bucked me off at CFR last year, and I needed some revenge. That’s the kind of bull you want to have every time. He’s got everything you need, and we pulled it off here today.”
There were some high scores and fast times in the other events, but the leader’s list holds steady. Kelly Timberman still has the mark to beat in bareback riding at 88; Todd Herzog remains the number one saddle bronc rider with his 87.5. Sierra Stoney of Dewinton still has the fast barrel racing time with her 15.54.
The 50th anniversary buckles will be handed out in this afternoon’s performance, which starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Daines Ranch, just north of Innisfail.