Trevor Brazile said he has only thrown his hat three times in a rodeo arena.
And with 17 world titles – including a PRCA-record 10 all-around championships – he’s had plenty of opportunities.
Brazile has tossed his hat into the air at the Timed Event Championship of the World in Guthrie, Okla., and once at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
The third came last week after winning the Bob Feist Invitational for team roping in Reno, Nev.
“I’m getting better at it,’’ he told Julie Mankin of his hat toss. “It took me a minute to get the crease back in it this time.”
Brazile and team roping partner Patrick Smith had 120,000 reasons to celebrate.
Brazile and Smith earned $120,000 ($60,000 each) by roping six steers in a BFI-record time of 40.54 seconds. The previous record was 43.75 by Turtle Powell and Monty Joe Petska.
Brazile and Smith did not place in any rounds, but led the average all the way through.
It was the first time Brazile has won the BFI, the richest one-day open roping event in the world. Smith won the BFI with Clay Tryan in 2005.
“I think now I may have just gotten my fees back from over the years,’’ Brazile joked.
The money does not count in the PRCA world standings. Brazile and Smith, who won the PRCA world team roping title in 2010, entered the weekend outside the top 30 in the world standings.
They made a big jump up by winning the team roping for $6,500 at Pecos, Texas, at the end of the week. Brazile also won the tie-down roping to add another $11,000 to his all-around money.
Spencer Mitchell and Dakota Kirchenschlager set a single-run BFI record with a time of 4.21 seconds in the fifth round. The previous record was 4.46 by Coleman Proctor and Jake Long.
Britt Williams of Hammond and partner Matt Kasner placed third in the third round for $4,000 while Huntley’s Brady Tryan and Cody Doescher did the same in the fourth round. Chase Tryan of Helena and Keven Daniel were 14th overall in the average for $5,000.
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Chase Tryan and Daniel made their stay in Reno profitable.
After earning $5,000 at the BFI, the pair added another $8,276 to their wallets by winning the team roping title at the PRCA Reno Rodeo.
The two won the final round with a time of 5.1 seconds for $1,399 and were 15.9 seconds on three steers to win the average for another $6,877.
The winners of each event at Reno also receive a set of hand-crafted silver spurs, one of the most coveted prizes in pro rodeo.
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Brazile and Smith weren’t the only team ropers to win big in Reno last week.
A handful of ropers from the area cashed nice checks at the Reno Invitational Roping.
The event is billed as the richest handicapped amateur team roping in the world where $1 million is paid out in a single day.
Randall Jobman of Worden and his brother Steve Jobman placed third overall with 39.37 seconds on four steers for $30,000 each.
Roundup’s Jenny Gilbert and Steve Haynes paired up to place eighth overall for $9,000 each, while former Huntley resident Brad Barkemeyer and Steve Greenberg were 24th for $7,000 apiece.
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The local rodeo world is mourning the loss of Mike Lenning, who lost his life in a mobile home fire on June 21.
Lenning, originally from Columbus, was a standout bull rider in the early 1980’s and was the 1980 Northern Rodeo Association Rookie of the Year. He finished second that same year by $13 to John Wollenburg in the final NRA bull riding standings.
Lenning would compete at the PRCA level and was one of the original entries for the NILE Bull Riders Invitational in 1993, the forerunner to the popular Professional Bull Riders event held in Billings every spring.
In later years, he could also be found judging rough stock events at area rodeos.
Lenning could always be counted on for a big smile and firm handshake. And once in a while, he might offer a little insight to a bull ride we had just watched.
Lenning was 50.
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A couple of hall of famers and the Northern Rodeo Association’s greatest all-around cowboy highlight this year’s list of inductees for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center.
Heading up the list are famed stock contractor Marvin Brookman of Wolf Point, former world champion saddle bronc rider Turk Greenough of Red Lodge and Arlee’s Bob Schall.
Brookman is a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, while Greenough was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Schall is the winningest cowboy in NRA history.
The inductees come from 12 districts from around the state, who nominate and vote on candidates.
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2013 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees:
District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley counties) – Living award: Fae Taylor Phillips, Scobey. Legacy award: Shirley Bridges, Wolf Point; Marvin Brookman, Wolf Point.
District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, Wibaux) – Living award: Mary Rose (Kasten) Haughian, Terry. Legacy award: Harley Everett Abarr, Jordan; Obert Kartevold, Glendive.
District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, Treasure) – Living award: Frank P. Robinson, Broadus. Legacy award: Daniel M. Gaskill, Volborg; John Henry Haughian, Miles City.
District 4 (Blaine, Choteau, Hill, Liberty) – Living award: Robert Sivertsen, Havre. Legacy award: Jack Siebrasse, Havre; Elmer Weaver, Chinook.
District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, Toole) – Living award: Raymond W. Gustafson, Conrad. Legacy award: 1904 world champion Fort Shaw Indian School girls basketball team, Fort Shaw; Thomas O’Connell, Great Falls.
District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, Wheatland) – Living award: George W. Griemsman, Roundup. Legacy award: Wallis Huidekoper, Two Dot; George Kelly, Utica.
District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Yellowstone) – Living award: Peter Christian Harms, Big Timber. Legacy award: Turk Greenough, Red Lodge; Connolly Saddlery, Billings.
District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark) – Living award: Tim Babcock, Helena. Legacy award: Montana Department of Livestock, Helena; Montana the Magazine of Western History, Helena.
District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, Park) – Living award: Wendell Lovely, Wilsall. Legacy award: Augustus Franklin Crail, Big Sky; Earl Presley, Gardiner.
District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Sanders) – Living award: Bob Schall, Arlee. Legacy award: Dorothy Johnson, Whitefish; Ed Lane, Arlee.
District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli) – Living award: Dwain Rennaker, Hamilton. Legacy award: Ed Lambert Stevensville; Robert W. Olson, Greenough, Trails’ End, Missoula.
District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, Powell) – Living award: Charles Hahnkamp, Dillon. Legacy award: Agnes Morgan, Philipsburg. P & O Ranch, Dillon.