Trevor Brazile isn't uncomfortable lending a hand to a young cowboy seeking help from one of the all-time greats, but a part of the humble Texan is always amazed when he is approached.
"It seems like my whole life I was looking up to someone else or asking them for advice, so it's still strange to be the guy others are looking up to,'' Brazile said. "It's very flattering - makes all the hard work, all the miles put in worth it.''
Brazile, who owns a record 10 all-around world championships, is in Nampa for the Snake River Stampede. He competed Monday morning in tie-down roping during the slack and will take part in team roping Tuesday night.
The 36-year-old is once again on top of the PRCA all-around rankings with $119,958 in earnings - more than $52,000 ahead of anyone else - and is fourth in tie-down roping, fifth in team roping and ninth in steer roping.
"You get the lingering injuries as you get older, and there's always younger, athletic guys trying to beat you, but this year's been pretty good,'' said Brazile, who also owns three world championships in tie-down roping and steer roping, and one in team roping. "It always could be better, but I've been healthy, and all things considered, I'm pretty happy.''
Rodeo is a total family affair for Brazile, whose wife, Shada, competes in barrel racing. They travel with their two children. Three brothers-in-law are on the tour, all qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo last year.
"We have a lot more family reunions than most, and in a lot more towns,'' Brazile joked.
His 17 world championships are the most of any multi-event cowboy, and his 10 all-around titles (all in the past 11 years) are three more than anyone else. In a way, all the success has made life easier on Brazile.
"About 80 percent of my career I was chasing Ty (Murray)'s record (of seven all-around world titles), and it was really weird once I did that - I had to find a different motivation because I wasn't done,'' Brazile said. "It kind of helped put things in perspective - I know I had a short window, so I have to make the most of it. I don't feel like I'm always chasing some record.''
The Snake River Stampede is a favorite of Brazile's, he said, and one that is a "difference-maker'' in many events, namely tie-down roping. He said the $400,000 Nampa rodeo comes at a time of the year when big-time rodeos are in short order.
With a big event this week, his family in tow, and riding a strong season, Brazile hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, and that's how he likes it.
"We've been busier than usual with (Shada) competing a lot and doing well, but that's been great,'' Brazile said. "I used to just want to go from Point A to Point B, but if there's a waterfall on the way, we'll go see it. I'm enjoying it right now, it doesn't change much what goes on in the arena, but I don't feel any sort of pressure, and that feels good.''
IDAHO STAMPEDE RODEO FAN FACTS
Rodeo begins at 7:30 each night Tuesday-Friday, pre-rodeo festivities begin at 6:30
Matinee begins at noon Saturday, pre-rodeo at 11:15 a.m.; finals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: Available at ictickets.com; adults $14-$38, seniors (65-plus) $12-$36, juniors (3-12) $10-$34 for evenings. Adults $11-$22, seniors $9-$20, juniors $7.50-$18 (free general admission in upper bowl) for Saturday matinee.
Parking is free.
Tuesday: Opening night; junior calf scramble
Wednesday: Stampede For The Cure Night (fans, competitors are urged to wear pink to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer prevention)
Thursday: Patriot Night
Friday: Hometown Hero Night; Man Up Crusade (domestic violence prevention awareness); post-rodeo concert
Saturday: Matinee at noon (alcohol-free session); finals at 7:30 p.m.