Superstar cowboy Trevor Brazile is tearing up the professional rodeo circuit, thanks in part to the luxurious Foretravel Nimbus that he calls home throughout much of the season.
By Lazelle Jones
Baseball has Albert Pujols. In basketball, it’s Kobe Bryant. Tom Brady is the man in the NFL. These are athletes who transcend their sports. Through years of continued excellence, they are regarded as the best of the best, not only when compared to their contemporaries, but among the greatest in the history of their respective sports. Trevor Brazile holds the same elevated position in the world of rodeo athletes, and for good reason.
The 34-year-old native of Amarillo, Texas, was born to be a cowboy. His father, Jimmy, was a four-time qualifier for the National Finals Steer Roping title, and his mom, Glenda, competed in women’s rodeos when she was younger. Trevor grew up with a rope in his hand, and his dad began teaching him how to use it by the time he could walk. The instruction certainly has paid off.
One look at the all-time Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) record book and it’s easy to see why Trevor is hailed as one of the greatest ever. Since joining the PRCA in 1996, he’s won 14 world titles, including a record eight All-Around Cowboy championships. He’s the all-time career earnings leader with winnings of nearly $4 million, and in 2010 he became the first cowboy to earn more than $500,000 in a season. He also collected the second Triple Crown of his career (three titles in the same season) following the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last December in Las Vegas, Nevada, a feat matched by only two other cowboys in the history of professional rodeo, dating back to 1929.
Prior to his record-clinching performance in Las Vegas, I was fortunate enough to share an armrest on a flight from Seattle, Washington, to Orange County, California, with Trevor, who was on his way to compete in a rodeo in San Juan Capistrano.
During the flight, we talked at length about his career, his family, and how his Foretravel Nimbus motorhome is a perfect fit for his professional and family lifestyles. Much like NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and team owners who use luxury motorhomes to enable and support their passion and professional endeavors, Trevor’s coach is a key component in his career. He embraces the utility, functionality, luxury, and versatility that his Foretravel brings to his unique situation.
A Texan through and through, Trevor lives in Decatur, Texas, a small town north of Fort Worth. He has spent his entire life immersed in honing and perfecting his roping skills. He competes in three different PRCA roping events: team roping, tie-down calf roping, and steer roping.
For the novice, it’s helpful to understand something about the events in a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo and their origins. The three calf-roping events Trevor specializes in have their genesis on the working ranch, where cattle and calves have to be tended to on the spot. Tie-down roping is for calves that weigh 250 pounds or less. Taking off full-speed aboard his quarter horse, the cowboy lassos the calf; the horse slams on its brakes; the cowboy springs from the saddle and goes after the calf while the horse continues to back up, keeping the rope taut. Flanking the calf to the ground, the cowboy then ties three of its legs together with a short strand of rope that he carries to the scene between his teeth. With this complete and the calf rendered immobile, the cowboy can attend to the calf’s needs. In tie-down calf roping competition, cowboys such as Trevor can do all of this (standing start to the three legs of the calf being tied together) in approximately 7 seconds. Now that’s amazing!
Steer roping involves a much heavier and older animal that can weigh 350 pounds or more. Once again, after looping the lasso around the horns of the steer, the cowboy exits his saddle and while the rope is being kept taut by the horse, the steer is flanked to the ground and rendered immobile. Team roping involves two cowboys on horseback. One (the header) lassos the head of the animal while the second cowboy (the heeler) lassos the two rear legs. With the two horses keeping the ropes pulled tight, the cowboys can now tend to the animal.
Trevor has been roping calves since he was a boy. During his last year of college, he turned professional and has never looked back. He and his wife, Shada, have a son, 3-year-old Treston, and a daughter, 1-year-old Stella. During the season Trevor will compete in 70 rodeos. Only when he has two or three rodeos in the same week at distant locations “” as was the case when I spoke with him “” will he fly. All other times, the entire family accompanies him in their Foretravel Nimbus.
Foretravel works closely with Trevor on each new motorhome that he gets. Trevor plays an integral part in the interior design of each coach, because it must provide the luxury that makes life on the road for extended periods of time tolerable, and also be configured in such a way so it works for the entire Brazile family. Plus, it must be functional and tailored to his specific needs.
For example, Trevor and his family need to have their privacy and at the same time be able to accommodate (at times) his support cowboys, which sometimes may include his team-roping partner. Therefore, Trevor and his wife had a set of bunk beds designed and built forward in the coach so traveling companions can have a place to sleep. With three slideouts in the motorhome, the rear bedroom becomes a sanctuary for Trevor, Shada, and their kids while the cowboys up front have their privacy.
Trevor and other cowboys who might be traveling from one rodeo to the next all take their turn at driving the motorhome. Trevor says everyone enjoys the prowess of the Foretravel. One of the more important features that Trevor really appreciates is that his Nimbus yields a huge towing capacity thanks to its 60,000-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR). He gave up using a pickup truck with a gooseneck trailer that had living quarters on board, because his Foretravel can tow a trailer full of horses, tack, feed, and all their rodeo gear. With the motorhome’s 500-horsepower turbocharged Cummins diesel engine providing the power, the entire Brazile bunch, including horses, travel effortlessly to the next event.
Trevor may be one of the best rodeo cowboys to compete in PRCA, but there are still championships to be won and records to chase. With 14 gold buckles (signifying world championships) under his belt, Trevor needs just two more titles to join Jim Shoulders in second place on the all-time championship leaders list. Should he reach that mark, next in line would be Guy Allen, who won 18 steer-roping titles from 1977 through 2004 and is the all-time championships leader. Seeing how Trevor has won 10 championships during the past five years and doesn’t appear to be slowing down in the least, there’s every reason to believe that he will lasso in both Shoulders and Guy within the next two or three years to become the winningest rodeo cowboy of all time. And the greatest ever.