Caldwell Night Rodeo Champions crowned
October 16, 2013
CALDWELL, ID – Aug. 18, 2012 – When Luke Branquinho entered the 78th Annual Caldwell Night Rodeo, the reigning world champion steer wrestler, he was in 13th place in the world standings.
That's an unfamiliar place for the 10-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. The top 15 at the end of the regular season make the trip to Las Vegas, NV, to compete in rodeo's championship event and the only time that Branquinho has missed out has been due to injury.
The Los Alamos, CA, resident had to take a hard look at what was going on in the arena and found inspiration outside of the arena. Just one week ago, he told his wife Lindsay that he was going to look at the rest of the year as a new season and start everything fresh.
That worked for him here as he was the big winner at this year's rodeo and the $8,311 couldn't have come at a better time. He won the first round, tied for second in the second and came into the final round with a one-second advantage. He stopped the clock in 5.5 seconds on Saturday night and while it didn't get him a check in the final round it was certainly fast enough to win him the title with a total of 14.1 seconds on three steers.
"My horses have been working good all year, I've felt good, but just couldn't get everything to click," Branquinho said. "I decided I needed to just look at it like it was a new season and run one steer at a time. So far it's working."
Branquinho was not the only reigning world champion to earn a championship here. Kaycee Feild, from Payson, UT, earned his first gold buckle last December and his first Caldwell title on Saturday night. He rode two horses here for 170 points to collect $6,890.
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Reigning all-around world champion Trevor Brazile won the all-around title here, as well as the team roping. Brazile had a total of $5,732 in team and tie-down roping. The team roping championship was earned with his partner Patrick Smith. The Texans had a total time of 17.2 seconds to win $4,040 each.
The only repeat champion here was Nancy Hunter from Neola, UT. Hunter took her horse Fuzz around the cloverleaf pattern three times here, winning the second and final round en route to the championship. Her total time of 51.61 seconds earned her $7,151.
World standings leader Justin Maass showed fans the winning style that has kept him there since January. Maass roped and tied three calves in 23.8 seconds to add $6,024 to his earnings. There were no qualified rides in the final round of bull riding, so Tate Stratton, from Kellyville, OK, earned the title here by virtue of his first round ride. The 88-point effort netted him a total of $5,981.
Winning the saddle bronc riding couldn't have come at a better time for Tyrell Smith either. The Great Falls, MT, cowboy was 17th in the world standings. The money he earned here, $5,450, should move him into the top 15 and if he maintains that he will be headed to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
2012 Caldwell Night Rodeo Champions
Bareback riding: Kaycee Feild, Payson, UT, 170 points, $6,890
Steer Wrestling: Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, CA, 14.1 seconds, $8,311
Team Roping:Trevor Brazile, Decatur, TX/Patrick Smith, Midland, TX, 17.2 seconds, $4,040.
Saddle Bronc Riding: Tyrell Smith, Great Falls, MT, 172 points, $5,450
Tie-Down Roping: Justin Maass, Giddings, TX, 23.8 seconds, $6,024
Barrel Racing: Nancy Hunter, Neola, UT, 51.61 seconds, $7,151
Bull Riding: Tate Stratton, Kellyville, OK, 88 points, $5,981
All-Around: Trevor Brazile, Decatur, TX, $5,732 won in tie-down and team roping
-Calwell Night Rodeo