Tough day at Daines for Texan

The sun shone during the second performance of the Innisfail Rodeo, but the cowboys still got to play in the mud

Austin Vanderlee of Stettler gets a little dirty as he is bucked off during the novice saddle bronc competition at the Daines Rodeo Ranch on Friday.

Austin Vanderlee of Stettler gets a little dirty as he is bucked off during the novice saddle bronc competition at the Daines Rodeo Ranch on Friday.

The sun shone during the second performance of the Innisfail Rodeo, but the cowboys still got to play in the mud.

That was something totally different for Trevor Brazile this year. The Texas cowboy is the most famous man in the sport these days. He’s got 14 gold buckles on his resume, and breaks earnings records on a daily basis.

He’s a cowboy in demand at the best rodeos in the biggest places, but he’s regularly made time in his busy schedule to come visit the Daines ranch.

Last year, he walked away with two titles, winning both the tie-down roping and the team roping.

But this year, Brazile just goes home with some mud as a souvenir. He and partner Patrick Smith couldn’t get their steer shaped up and took a no time, while the calf he’d drawn didn’t cooperate either. Going zero for two isn’t something that happens much to this talented cowboy.

But he took it all in stride, and even came up to the announcer’s stand to say hello to Jack and Duane Daines after his disappointing runs.

Brazile’s home area of Decatur, like most of Texas this year, is deep in the middle of a devastating drought. He hasn’t seen such wet conditions for quite some time.

“Man, I’m not used to playing in the mud, that’s for sure. It showed today,” he said, shaking his head. “But we could sure use some of this down in Texas. Actually this is the first time I’ve competed in the mud here.

“But this is just a fun place to come, just the environment. The atmosphere here is kind of almost like you take a step back in time. It’s a cool rodeo to come see. Even if you go to 70 rodeos a year like I do, it’s fun to come to this rodeo. You can’t really put a finger on the reason why, other than the atmosphere and everybody’s attitude around here.”

In the saddle bronc riding, a horse with a lot of buzz this year lived up to his reputation. Pedro, raised by Darcy Hollingsworth of Eckville, sold for an impressive $54,500 at last December’s NFR bucking sale in Las Vegas. Winfield’s Scott Lourance got the lucky draw, but he didn’t make the whistle on the strong gelding, as the horse bucked high and strong.

Rocky cowboy Jim Berry had a good night, turning in an 81 on Vold’s Moving Shadows, just a half point behind leader Taos Muncy of New Mexico.

“That’s a really nice horse,” smiled Berry. “It’s the second time I’ve been on that horse. Last time, I won the first round on him at Edmonton. I was really nervous getting on him tonight. I didn’t want to screw a good one up, especially at a rodeo like this.

“He had me in trouble the first jump and a half. But after that it felt really good.”

Craig McPhee of Edson moved into a tie for the bull riding lead, after he marked an 87 on Seeing Double, to equal the score from Steven Turner of Cochrane on opening night.

Sitting on top of the bareback riding still is Steven Peebles of Oregon, but Brian Bain of Oregon snuck in just behind him with an 84.5, on Gold Dust. The rest of the rodeos leaders remained unchanged. Jake Hannum’s 6.8 is still fast in the tie-down roping, while Luke Branqhino remains in front of the steer wrestlers with his 4.7, and Trula Churchill has the best barrel racing time at 16.57. The team roping lead is still safe with Dustin Round of Lacombe and Trevor Jones of Ponoka at 6.0. College champion Ky Marshall of Bowden claimed the novice bareback honors at Innisfail with an 80 point ride, while the novice bronc riding title was shared by Branden Dillman and Kale McKenzie, both of Rocky Mountain House.

There are two performances of the Daines Ranch Rodeo today, with the pro rodeo at 1:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m..

Dianne Finstad is a regular contributor of the Red Deer Advocate and is the agriculture/rodeo director for Newcap Radio/CKGY/CIZZ FM in Red Deer