Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico competed in the Elite Rodeo Athletes Premier Tour this weekend at Tingley Coliseum. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)
On the road for nearly two weeks at a time, Muncy has his entire family and coterie of friends on hand for the seventh stop in the ERA’s maiden year.
“Yes, everybody shows up to this one,” Muncy, who was thrown from his saddle bronc ride in Friday’s competition, said on Saturday.
Muncy, 30, was raised in a cowboy lifestyle as his dad was a roughstock rider and his mom was a barrel racer. Muncy’s cousins – his peers – were riding broncs and bulls at local fairgrounds events. Muncy loved the sport, and he knew that rodeo was what he wanted to do.
Muncy’s parents logged thousands of miles taking their son to rodeo events all over the Southwest. For years, Muncy competed in every event, but it was in college where he winnowed his events to one.
As a member of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University team, Muncy won the saddle bronc NCAA title. Soon after, he turned professional.
“I would do all of the events if I could,” Muncy said. “After I won the saddle bronc national title, it kind of took off from there.”
While he still does some jackpots on the side and would like to compete in roughstock events, specializing in saddle bronc riding has paid off in the form of two world titles.
And with the ERA’s mission to bring the best rodeo athletes and livestock together, Muncy knows he has to be on his game.
“It’s just a great show,” Muncy said of the ERA. “You want to go out there and compete against the best guys.”
Trevor Brazile competes in team roping during Saturday night’s Elite Rodeo Athletes tour stop at Tingley Coliseum. Brazile is one of the founding members of the tour. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)
CONCEPT: Trevor Brazile is arguably the greatest tie-down roper, steer roper and team roper in rodeo history. So it is no surprise the Amarillo, Texas, native signed on as one of the founders of the ERA Premier Tour.
Brazile was quick to point out that the idea of bringing together the best rodeo athletes and livestock under one promotional banner is not a unique idea and has been bandied about for many years.
“We have great fans, but I always felt that we never got to see this product in other (rodeo tour) environments where the best of the best competed head to head throughout a complete season,” Brazile said.
A number of factors, combined with rodeo tour bylaws, pulled the best rodeo athletes in different directions so that it was a rare sight to see what the ERA Premier Tour has actually pulled off at each tour stop.
“This is something that hasn’t been done in our industry,” Brazile said. “It’s just taken a special group that has stuck together, perfect timing and a perfect storm.”
As a competitor, Brazile was fourth in Friday’s team-roping and fourth in the tie-down disciplines. “I’m just trying to move up the ladder (Saturday),” he said.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Bushwacker left the professional rodeo ranks as one of the most decorated bulls in history. Saturday night, Bushwacker’s progeny, Bushwacked, was scheduled to make his debut for owner Cody Ohl.
“He looks just like (Bushwacker) and acts just like him,” Ohl said. “He’s so similar to his father in the way he bucks.”
Kanin Asay of Powell, Wyo., drew Bushwacked on Saturday evening, and was thrown in just 2.54 seconds. Bushwacked made the most of his first time in the spotlight taking a couple of victory laps before he was corralled.
“We were hoping for greatness,” Ohl said of his rookie bull. “Kanin is a good friend of mine and a lot of guys don’t like their bulls rode. But we’re all out here trying to make a living, and I’m all for the bull rider.”
SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Five-time steer wrestling world champion, Luke Branquinho, set a new ERA record winning in 3.05 seconds. … 2011 team roping world champions, Turtle Powell and Jhett Johnson edged Chad Masters and Travis Graves by three hundredths of a second, timing 3.94. …Three-time saddle bronc world finalist Tyler Corrington bounced back from a no-score on Friday by notching an 86.5 to top the 11-man field. … Ashley Schafer extended her lead in barrel racing, finishing in 13.96 seconds and edging 2014 world champion Fallon Taylor by a mere one-hundredth of a second. … Two-time world champion Tuf Cooper topped the tie-down roping field recording a 7.36 time – the best of the weekend.