It’s been a few years since Ty Murray was on top of the rodeo world.
More than a decade. It’s been 13 years since he won his then-record seventh all-around world championship. It’s been 12 years since Murray set the high-water mark for Cowboy Christmas earnings, those dollars won at rodeos over the lucrative Fourth of July run. In 1999, he earned $37,630, a record.
Trevor Brazile continues to surpass Murray in virtually every all-around capacity. Over the past few days of competition, Brazile earned $39,993, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s post on Facebook.
It’s fitting that Brazile owns the Cowboy Christmas earnings record. He’s the most prolific roper in the history of the sport, and the greatest ropers in the game will tell you that.
When Murray retired while still one of the greatest cowboys in the Professional Bull Riders – he’d changed his focus to riding bulls and promoting the association he helped found – the late Jim Shoulders told me that Murray might be the last “real” all-around cowboy to win that title in the PRCA. In his mind, Shoulders believed a true all-around cowboy must ride bucking stock.
I can understand that mindset, and I appreciate it. There’s nothing better to watch than an outstanding saddle bronc ride.
But having watched Brazile in action, seen his work ethic up close and witnessed his outstanding personality, I’ll kindly disagree with one of the greatest cowboys in the history of rodeo. Trevor Brazile is a cowboy, from his polite demeanor to his dogged determination to his awesome athleticism.
He’s what every man should aspire to be.