Local ropers can’t keep Brazile from winning 20th world title

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Local ropers can’t keep Brazile from winning 20th world title

MULVANE, Kan. — A pair of Pawhuskans were among a select group of elite ropers who tried unsuccessfully to deprive pro rodeo’s best cowboy, Trevor Brazile, of his 20th world title at last weekend’s Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.

Brady Garten won three consecutive rounds Saturday during the second night of the NFSR, which was held for the first time at the Kansas Star Arena south of Wichita. The 2001 Pawhuska High grad took fourth in the competition by collecting two-day earnings of $19,223. Garten also wound up eighth in the 2014 world standings.

Chet Herren led all PRCA steer ropers for most of the year and had a strong last day in the finals. But the 35-year-old Pawhuskan proved to be no match in Mulvane for Brazile, who claimed his fifth steer-roping crown (and the second in a row) with nearly $44,000 in prize money at the Kansas event.

Steer roping world title No. 5 put Brazile third all-time on the steer roping title list behind Guy Allen, who has 18, and Everett Shaw, who won six.

Brazile has now won 31 rounds of NFSR competition, which again puts him second to Allen, who won 47. Allen is the brother of Pawhuska Fire Chief Gip Allen, who also is a world-class roper.

Brazile broke his own record by adding a 20th gold buckle to his previous championships in tie-down and team roping as well as eight All-Around titles.

When the event concluded on Saturday, the 37-year-old Texan had established a new 10-head mark in the average of 114.1 seconds and broke the single-season earnings record in steer roping with $112,692. (The former record of $101,685 set by Rocky Patterson in 2010.)

Luck took a night off for Herren during the NFSR’s five early rounds Friday.

The Pawhuska roper started the finals just $925 behind cowboy extraordinaire Trevor Brazile in the race for the 2014 PRCA steer roping championship.

Herren’s chances of overtaking the defending champ were seriously compromised when he registered three no-times in the opening-night performances at Kansas Star Arena.

Meanwhile, Brazile was conducting a roping clinic, winning Round 1 and finishing second in Rounds 2, 3 and 5 to take a lead in the average. His five-head time of 54.2 seconds was nearly 6 1/2 seconds faster than that of Friday’s runner-up in the NFSR average competition, J.P. Wickett of Sallisaw.

The addition of $18,173 increased Brazile’s total season winnings to $87,008 and extended his advantage over Herren.

Herren just missed having the fastest single roping in the competition, but his 9.7-second time in Saturday’s 10th round was topped by one-tenth of a second by Vin Fisher, Jr., who is the reigning champion of Pawhuska’s Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping.

Herren’s second-place 2014 winnings were more than $72,000.

Garten was the second-best story on Saturday night, as he won Round 6 at 9.5 seconds — while Brazile took second in 9.6.

Round 7 brought more of the same when Garten topped the ropers at 9.5 and Brazile got second with an 11.2.

Garten, who now resides in Claremore, added a third straight round win in Round 8 with a time of 9.8 seconds. He placed third in the final round.