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Oakdale Rodeo ropes world champion

OAKDALE -- Trevor Brazile looks and performs like a cowboy from a previous era.

His accomplishments, however, are almost unequaled in any era. And, fortunately for local rodeo fans, he still carves out time in his busy itinerary for Oakdale.

Brazile, the reigning and seven-time all-around world champion, tops the list of 401 cowboys and cowgirls on their way to the 59th Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo beginning today.

The opening runs of barrel racing, the only event staged today, begin at 4 p.m. at the Oakdale Saddle Club Arena. Brazile, from Decatur, Texas, is scheduled to compete in Friday morning's slack session starting at 8.

Brazile, 33, is a throwback cowboy in that he's an all-around hand. He's already known as one of the greatest ropers of all time, and he's a threat in three events -- team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping.

Last December at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Brazile clinched his seventh all-around world title -- tying him with roughstock legend Ty Murray -- and also won tie-down for his 11th world title. That ties him for third with Dean Oliver and Charmayne James on the all-time list.

By the way, the hard-working cowboy already leads the 2010 all-around list. He's entered in both tie-down and team roping in Oakdale, where he contended last year for the Bowman Trophy, which recognizes the rodeo's top all-around performer.

The entry list also features Farmington's Russell Cardoza, the team roping heeler who placed third in the aggregate at the WNFR and finished ninth in the 2010 world standings.

The many local entries include 10-time WNFR team roping qualifier Daniel Green of Oakdale, Troy Murray, Joseph Shawnego and Mike George. Green and Murray both are former all-around champions at Oakdale.

Current leaders in the field are Turtle Powell (team roping headers) and Stran Smith (tie-down).

Rodeo enthusiasm in Oakdale picked up Wednesday during the ninth annual Cowgirl Luncheon, a fund-raiser for the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. More than 480 women were served lunch and beverages by about 50 cowboys while raffles and auctions were conducted.

The annual parade will be held Saturday morning in downtown Oakdale preceding grand entry at 1:30 p.m. at the saddle club arena. The final performance Sunday also is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or 578-2302.

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