BUCKLE UP

Spin to Win Rodeo - - At The Barrier - with Bran­don Gon­za­les, by Chelsea Shaf­fer

Bran­don Gon­za­les is orig­i­nally from Se­boyeta, New Mex­ico, a small vil­lage part of a Span­ish land grant formed in the 18th cen­tury. For years, the 7 header and 9 heeler, who grew up rop­ing mav­er­ick cat­tle on the moun­tains like gen­er­a­tions of his fam­ily had done, had been try­ing to win a New Mex­ico Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion team rop­ing ti­tle.

“I usu­ally rope with my brother out there, be­cause that’s where we’re from,” Gon­za­les, who now calls Li­pan, Texas, home, said. “It ac­tu­ally meant a whole lot. He pulled his groin and couldn’t rope at the Fi­nals, but we roped to­gether most of the year.”

Gon­za­les roped with Seth Hall at the NMRA Fi­nals, where they won the av­er­age with a time of 11.1 sec­onds on two head, in­clud­ing a 5.2-sec­ond first-round win.

“I tried for sev­eral years, and I heeled at first. I went to head­ing and I tried for three more years, and in the fourth year I fi­nally won it.”

2011 was a big year for Gon­za­les, be­cause a few months later, he and Josh Mor­ris were fourth in the av­er­age at the Open at the USTRC’s Cinch Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing in Ok­la­homa City, worth $11,150 a man for a time of 43.05 sec­onds on six head.

“I went to head­ing and I tried for three more years, and in the IRXUWK \HDU , ÀQDOO\ ZRQ LW μ ² %UDQGRQ *RQ]DOHV

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