Published 6/7/2012 in Beef Empire Days-Sports
By BRETT MARSHALL
There were two Brazile's who competed in Wednesday's slack on the opening day of the 2012 Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo at the Fairgrounds.
Brad Nading/Telegram A. J. Griffin, Manhattan, grabs the horns of a steer to turn it to the ground Wednesday during the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo slack steer wrestling competition at the Finney County Fairgrounds arena. Griffin is a former Garden City resident.
And, as a surprise to many, the one who had the better day wasn't Trevor, current No. 1-ranked All-Around cowboy in the PRCA and a 16-time world champion.
Nope, the best of the Brazile performances came from his wife, Shada, who occupies first place in the Women's Professional Rodeo Association's barrel racing event after recording a time of 17.27 seconds.
That put her 0.08 of a second ahead of the 17.35 seconds posted by Jean Winters of Texline, Texas. There were 64 entrants in the barrel racing, including No. 17-ranked Angie Meadors of Blanchard, Okla., who stood in 10th at 17.71 seconds.
"It's been a while since I've competed up here," Brazile said in an interview following the event. "Being in first, there's a long way to go with three more days of competition. I just enjoy getting back out there on the horse, competing, and seeing how I do. Winning would be icing on the cake."
For Trevor, the day was a mixed bag of results.
On the upside, he was in second place in the Tie-Down Roping with a time of 9.3 seconds, while Cody McCartney of Temperance, Mich., earned the top spot after day one with a 9.0 second time.
Ironically, Wednesday's best event of the three in which he competes, was the Tie-Down where he entered as the No. 24-ranked competitor in the latest PRCA poll. What had been his best event to date this season — the Steer Roping — proved to be his most futile and frustrating, as he finished out of the top six in each of the three go runs. His third event — Team Roping — saw him and his partner, Patrick Smith of Midland, Texas, in ninth place with a time of 9.7 seconds, well back of early leaders Paul David Tierney of Oral, S.D., and Cody Doescher of Oklahoma City, whose time of 4.7 seconds was just 0.1 of a second in front of Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., and Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev. Driggers entered the day's event as the No. 2-ranked header in the team roping event and Tierney was ranked 17th.
"We've done really well in the team roping and steer roping," Brazile said early Wednesday following the tie-down event. "Calf roping's been the one where I've been a little off. I've been having some back issues. When I get off, my flanking that's where I notice it the most. Flanking and when you're getting off are not conducive to that situation. I've been giving it a lot of rest. I've always been a big practice guy, and I just haven't been able to do that. I just hope that the hours that I've put in in the past carry over because there comes a time when I have to choose health or being really sharp. Right now, the main concern is staying healthy."
In the three go's of the Steer Roping, Vin Fisher Jr. of Andrews, Texas, didn't win any of the single rounds, but did accumlate the best overall time for those three rounds to finish first in the Total on 3-Head. That earned him a payout of $2,047.88.
Rocky Patterson of Pratt (8.6 seconds), Jarrett Blessing of Paradise, Texas (9.8 seconds) and Chance Kelton of Mayer, Ariz. (9.8 seconds) won each of the three rounds to earn payouts of $1,365.26. Jess Tierney of Hermosa, S.D. was second to Fisher and earned $1,694.80.
Chancy Larson of Manhattan wound up as the first day leader in the Steer Wrestling competition, scoring 3.5 seconds while Wade Sumpter, current ranked No. 19, of Fowler, Colo., was second at 3.7 seconds. Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb., currently ranked No. 2 in the world, was sitting in a tie for seventh with a time of 5.0 seconds.
Only two women competed in the Ladies Breakway Roping and Ginalee Tierney of Broken Bow, Neb., had a time of 3.1 seconds to easily finish ahead of Amy Wilson of Colby, who had a 10-second penalty and finished with a mark of 12.8 seconds.
For Trevor Brazile, the challenge of staying on top after winning a record nine All-Around world championships, is something he doesn't take for granted.
"Man, I just love what I do," he said. "Probably more important, I just love winnin'. Once you've tasted winnin', there are things that you sacrifice if you didn't know what you were missing. I always thought after I won my first title that there'd be less pressure — you know, once a world champion always a world champion. It's not like that. The more you win, the more you're expected to win. There's more pressure you have. It's both self-imposed and outside pressure.
And while his Wednesday won't go down as a banner day for Brazile, he still enjoys returning to Garden City each year for the Beef Empire Days Rodeo.
"It's cowboy, beef country," Brazile said. "They understand rodeo here. It's fun to compete in front of people that are that well-edcuated in what we do."
Tonight, with a scheduled start at 7 p.m., officially opens the three night performances for the 26th edition of the BED PRCA Rodeo.
It will be family night, and a family of four can be admitted for $10. The night's performance is sponsored by the All-American Beef Battalion. There will be two sections of bull riding, one section each in steer wrestling, bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women's breakaway roping and women's barrel racing. Performances also will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.
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