Earning 26 World Championship titles in his career, Trevor Brazile has redefined what it means to compete in the rodeo arena. From steer roping to tie-down roping and team roping to the elusive all-around race, The King of the Cowboys has dominated the sport of rodeo and done so aboard phenomenal horses. “My relationship with my horses, that has always been the key for me,” Brazile says looking back. “It wasn’t just me, my animal athletes have been the big secret to my success.”
In 2019, as the world watched this living legend retire from the limelight and life on the rodeo trail, those closest to him knew that this wouldn’t be the last we saw of Trevor Brazile with a horse. “As I moved away from rodeo, I missed it. That was what I loved for so long, but I found out a lot about myself being removed from it. I learned that as long as I was on a horse, I was happy.” He’s now writing his next chapter, one that keeps him closely connected to the horses that help define him and keeps the rest of us eagerly anticipating what’s next.
“It couldn’t have been a better transition. I’ve been so blessed because it seems like I’m as busy, or busier, than I ever was, but I’m able to do it from home and not miss out on my kids.”
— Trevor Brazile, 26-Time World Champion Rodeo Cowboy and Platinum Client since 2008
With Brazile’s unmatched resume in the roping pen, he most certainly knows what to look for and how to train a good rope horse. Dedicating his time and talents exclusively to making rope horses seemed like a natural fit. What he didn’t expect, however, was to find himself in the breeding barn. What quickly became clear was that to get the kind of rope horse prospects Brazile was after, he’d need to start in the breeding barn with proven bloodlines and a vision. “It seems like over the years, we’ve tried to teach horses how to stop or how to run, and it’s just a longer process when they aren’t bred to do it,” he explains. “It’s so much nicer when they naturally want to do the things we’re asking them to do, and it makes our job as trainers so much easier.” This is a realization that many other disciplines have already made, and now it’s time for the rope horse industry to follow suit. “The roping industry is growing too much to not have the right kinds of horses coming up for it. These horses that are born, bred and trained from day one to be rope horses are going to shine,” says Brazile.
“If you would’ve asked me if I was going to be in the breeding business three years ago, I would have said that you're crazy,” he says with a laugh. Stranger things have happened, and now, just two years later, here he is with a new endeavor and two next-level stallions to his name — the striking palomino Show Me The Buckles and the handsome roan Dirty Fling. Together with business partner and rope horse trainer Miles Baker, Brazile has founded Relentless Remuda with the goal of breeding and training the rope horse superstars of tomorrow. He’s making plans, booking breedings and riding these ever-promising studs, hoping to dominate in the growing realm of rope horse futurities. “It couldn’t have been a better transition,” Brazile reflects. “I’ve been so blessed because it seems like I’m as busy, or busier, than I ever was, but I’m able to do it from home and not miss out on my kids.”
PHOTO BY ELITE EQUINE PROMOTIONS
PHOTO BY CAM ESSICK
Trevor Brazile featured with new stallion, Show Me The Buckles, a 2008 AQHA Palomino by Wimpys Little Step and out of Sunset Whiz by Topsail Whiz.
The American Rope Horse Futurities are where Brazile first landed after retiring from professional rodeo. At these events, rope horse trainers are catching steers like they would at a rodeo while also being judged on the technical merits of the run. The horse is the determining factor, not necessarily speed alone. “You have two live judges, and the third judge is time,” Brazile explains of the format. “Let’s say we start out with 80 points from the two judges. Then, if your time is five seconds flat, you deduct that five from 80 and your total score is 75. If you were 10 seconds flat on that same run, then your score would’ve only been 70.” Team roping is, of course, a speed event, but rope horse futurities have added a new challenge for top-notch trainers like Brazile. “They weigh heavily on how good your horse looks,” adds Brazile. “Everything from how calm he is in the box, how flat he leaves, his running rate and even how he faces or stops depending on if you’re heading or heeling.” These events offer a new spin on team roping that is quickly taking the rope horse industry by storm. “I think they’re really on to something because it’s not just based on time like at a rodeo nor is it the traditional AQHA show that everyone’s accustomed to,” remarks Brazile. “They’ve married the two worlds together, and I think it’s a really good fit.” A quickly-growing spectator sport, rope horse futurities are seeing growth in the realm of between 60 and 100 percent in the past two years alone.
True horsemen like Brazile aren’t simply motivated by gold buckles alone. While he’s a competitor to his core, he gets an immense amount of pride from making good horses and watching them thrive. “Seeing these young horses go from point A to point B and even after, when they graduate out of the futurity system and I get to watch them at the NFR or wherever they go, it’s so rewarding and so fun for me to watch,” he explains of what brings him joy. “I might not get the wins like I did on the rodeo trail, but I get daily wins right here seeing these horses in their progression.” These wins are somehow as relevant as the gold buckles Brazile has so famously accumulated. There is a sense of pride attached to training a horse that can go on and win for someone else that is similar to how one feels about their own children finding success in whatever they do.
“It seems like over the years, we’ve tried to teach horses how to stop or how to run, and it’s just a longer process when they aren’t bred to do it. It’s so much nicer when they naturally want to do the things we’re asking them to do, and it makes our job as trainers so much easier.”
— Trevor Brazile, 26-Time World Champion Rodeo Cowboy and Platinum Client since 2008
Combining legendary reining breeding with outrageous athletic ability, Brazile's and Baker’s new stallion Show Me The Buckles shines. By Wimpys Little Step and out of a Topsail Whiz mare, “Buckles” as he’s known, initially caught Brazile’s eye after he rode one of his colts to victory. “I actually won the World Championship in the American Rope Horse Futurity on a 4-year-old horse we called Dagger, which was by Show Me the Buckles,” recalls Brazile. “So when the opportunity came up for us to own him, we decided to look into it. If you’ve seen this horse, then you know what we mean when we say, ‘You can have it all.’ ” He’s referring, of course, to the gleaming palomino stallion’s dashing good looks, complete with a stark-white mane that nearly drags on the ground. Aside from his obvious handsome features, the stud has jaw-dropping athletic talent. “Knowing that he was a producer was what was so important to us. It didn’t matter if he was throwing head horses or heel horses. They were able to do it all, and that made him a natural fit for us,” Brazile says of Buckles. “Seeing his babies hit the ground with those same easy-to-train attributes that made Dagger stand out has been so fun.”
Since purchasing him, Buckles has retired from the show pen, and his sole purpose is now producing babies. “As much fun as we have riding that horse, we only ride him to keep him feeling like a horse, so he’s not just at the breeding farm,” Brazile says fondly, every bit as much of a fan as he is an owner. This commitment to the breeding barn is a sound strategy considering the level of talent already exhibited in Buckles’ babies. And although stallions like Buckles are pivotal, they’re still only 50 percent of the equation when it comes to producing not just winners, but horses capable of transforming the sport. Brazile and Baker are excited for the top-tier roster of mares booked to breed to Buckles this year. “The head horse game is what’s lacking,” explains Brazile. “There are colts out there that may be able to run or they may be hardy enough to take anything that comes to them, but they don’t have the attributes that Buckles has where they really want to work off their hind end. We’ve been crossing Buckles with some mares that ran on the track, so we can get the best of both worlds.” With reining powerhouses in his bloodline, Buckles has a strong hind end and big stop built in. When crossed with running- bred mares with size, the resulting offspring will hopefully capture the best of all traits and make for game-shifting head horses.
After Buckles’ breeding book filled up in eight short days, Brazile realized just how much the roping industry was in need of more top-notch stallions. While Buckles is the start of something special for Brazile and Baker, their plans don’t stop there. In looking to expand their program, the two men discovered Dirty Fling, a stunning 2019 homozygous roan stud now acquired by Relentless Remuda in partnership with Solo Select, owned by Melanie Smith. “Fling” is essentially the perfect combination of run and cow. “He just turned 3 this year and shows great promise,” says Brazile of the up-andcoming stallion. “He’s Metallic Cat on the top and out of A Streak Of Fling mare. He just really caught our eye.” With his good looks and a pedigree that could dominate any discipline, he’s unquestionably an eye catcher. The otherworldly stallion Metallic Cat has sired offspring with over $4 million in earnings for cutting, reining and reined cow horse events. He’s even recently enjoyed his acting debut on the acclaimed hit Yellowstone. Combine the long resume of Metallic Cat with the genetics of A Streak Of Fling, who is an all-time winning barrel horse futurity sire known for his speed with over $5 million in offspring earnings — and there’s no doubt this horse was bred to do great things. “It’s exciting because we’re going to get to prove this stallion along the way in the roping pen,” says Brazile. “We are blessed that a lot of people have already decided that they want to be part of his journey, but we’re only offering 10 breedings for the public this year. His training supersedes him being at the breeding barn. We need him in training because, at the end of the day, we want him to produce beautiful roan babies, but we have to know that he has what we think he has to be able to do that.” Typical of Brazile’s signature thoroughness, Fling will be proven in both competition and as a producer, setting the stage for quite the legacy.
Owned by Trevor Brazile and Miles Baker in partnership under Relentless Remuda. This 2008 AQHA Palomino Stallion is by Wimpys Little Step out of Sunset Whiz by Topsail Whiz.
Currently standing at Highpoint Performance Horses in Pilot Point, TX
Owned in partnership by Solo Select Horses and Relentless Remuda. This 2019 Homozygous Roan Stallion is by Metallic Cat and out of A Streak Of Gin by A Streak Of Fling. He is currently in training with Miles Baker and Trevor Brazile.
Stands at Solo Select Horses in Whitesboro, TX
With more to come!
Brazile recognizes that keeping horses healthy and at their best is key to any successful training program. It’s always been a secret to his trade. Find Brazile, and you’ll usually find a shining, muscular horse in a near-perfect body condition with a mind as strong as his body. He’s always believed that a horse isn’t at their best from a physical standpoint if they’re at all “off” or sore. This is where Brazile’s golden combination of proper nutrition, on-point conditioning and good veterinarians has come into play. “The biggest thing I’ve seen in dealing with great veterinarians over the years is that so much can be fixed without a needle by their recommendation, and that preventative treatment is key,” observes Brazile. A significant part of Brazile’s preventive approach is seen in his commitment to proper nutrition. “I’ve always fed my horses Platinum. I bet I’ve been with Platinum 15 years or better now. All of my horses, whether they were 3- years-old in the futurity or they were my rodeo horses, they have always gotten the Platinum PAKs® with Platinum Performance® CJ, Platinum Hoof Support, Vitamin E and Platinum Longevity®.” This combination of ingredients helps support the high-level horses in Brazile’s program with the nutrients they need to perform optimally with staying power. See all of Trevor's formulas for success here.
Being in the breeding business has put a new twist on Brazile’s feeding regimen this last year. While all horses may share a common biological need, breeding stallions have additional needs related to the quality and motility of their semen. As Buckles matures in age, for example, providing additional omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and specialty nutrients like alpha lipoic acid and L-carnitine becomes a vital piece of the puzzle. Brazile has chosen to give both his stallions Platinum Motility Plus® and Platinum Potency® as part of their preventive maintenance to help ensure their continued success as producers.
“It’s been great having two horses in different parts of their career that both have a lot of promise.”
— Trevor Brazile, 26-Time World Champion Rodeo Cowboy said of Buckles and Fling, the stallions of Relentless Remuda
For now, Brazile is enjoying learning about the breeding business and watching these stallions and their offspring find their feet in the roping pen. “It’s been great having two horses in different parts of their career that both have a lot of promise,” he says with pride. While Buckles is focused at the breeding barn, Fling will be almost entirely in the training pen getting ready for his futurity year as a 4-year-old. Under the care and guidance of Brazile and Baker, Fling’s future is bright. Both Buckles and Fling have been positioned to leave a lasting mark on the rope horse industry, bringing fresh blood and infinite talent to the futurities and also to their offspring. Brazile sees their potential and is excited for this next chapter. “We know the need is there,” he says. “The response has been overwhelming. We’re so thankful for all the people that want to be part of the journey.”
While Brazile may no longer be atop the leaderboard at the Thomas & Mack this December, his new life away from the rodeo limelight has him living the dream, riding horses and spending time with his family. “I feel like 2020 and 2021 set me up for success,” he reflects. “We stayed home riding and making good horses. It helped us stay focused and keep our heads down.” From the outside looking in, these next few years will be a pleasure to watch for anyone in the rope horse world. Buckles and Fling will have babies on the ground, Fling will see his debut in the futurity world and Brazile and Baker will be building their program. Perhaps it’s paying it forward, but Brazile has taken the years of accolades and championships he’s earned and parlayed that into somehow giving back to the industry by breeding and training the next generation of great athletes that will take the sport to another level.
He’ll forever be the King of the Cowboys, just not quite as public as he has been. Maybe Chris LeDoux said it best, he’s still there, as big and talented as ever, but “you just can’t see him from the road.”
In looking to expand their breeding program, Trevor Brazile and business partner Miles Baker discovered Dirty Fling — a stunning 2019 homozygous roan stud now acquired by Relentless Remuda in partnership with Solo Select, owned by Melanie Smith.
PHOTO BY DARCI BAKER
Now focused on the breeding barn, The King of the Cowboys discusses the rise of rope horse futurities and building powerhouse athletes with stallions Show Me The Buckles and Dirty Fling.Listen
by Lindsey Stornetta,