Introducing Lindsay Branquinho.. Rodeo Wife to 2X World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho
Born: Sept. 17, 1980 (Santa Maria, CA)
Residence: Los Alamos, CA
Joined PRCA: 2000
World Titles Won: 2 (2004, 2008)
Wrangler NFR Qualifications: 9 (2001-04, 2006-11)
Tour Finale Titles: 3 (Pace Chute-out: 2004; Summer Tour Finale (Omaha) 2008-09)
Tour Finale Qualifications: 17
Pace Chute-out: 2002, 2004, 2006
Caldwell Round: 2007-08 Puyallup Round: 2007-09 Omaha Tour Finale: 2002, 2004, 2007-09
Championship: 2004, 2006-08
Career Earnings: $1,558,269
PRCA Overall and Steer wrestling Resistol Rookie of the Year, 2000.
2 times Dodge National Circuit Finals Champion 2009-2010
Lindsay, tell us how you became a rodeo wife and if you were involved in rodeo before you married Luke?
I have been involved in rodeo my whole life; I grew up going to Jr., high school, college, and then professional rodeos. I left college in 2003 in order to pro rodeo full time, and it was that spring that some mutual friends I was staying with at the time introduced me and Luke. We met at the Turlock, Ca rodeo and started dating later that fall. Exactly one year, to the weekend we met, we were engaged and married in November 2004. Time flys!
How many miles do you and Luke log a year?
Since having kids, I don’t travel much with Luke anymore. We will fly some places and meet up with him, and maybe travel with him for a week or two. Luckily, in the spring a lot of his rodeos are out here in CA. so he is home in between, or we can go for the weekend with him. The majority of his traveling is done with a trailer full of guys, so you can imagine that there isn’t much room left over! Luke estimates that he logs easily close to 70,000 miles a year driving, plus probably another 60k flying.
How often do you go to the rodeos and do you stay more local or make the long hauls as well?
It seems like there are a few particular rodeos we try to go to with him every year. Some of the bigger ones, or times when he knows he will be in one spot for a few days. Then when the rodeos are closer to home, like I had said, we will go for the weekend. I try to get out to Arizona to see my family when I can, so we try to plan those visits around times when there are rodeos out there; like Tucson, and of course Prescott where my I was born and raised.
What does it take to get the rig ready to leave?
Well, because we don’t travel with him full time, there isn’t much I have to do to get him ready to go! He spends the week or so before he leaves getting everything cleaned out and stocked up; things he needs for his horses, his clothes, groceries, etc. If anything I will just run around town and pick up whatever he needs.
What stresses do you have being a rodeo wife?
I feel like I have pretty much the same stresses as any other wife, and mother. You are always going to worry about your family, and it’s no different for me. It can be stressful sometimes trying to meet every ones needs, I have two little boys who need a mom, miss their daddy, and have a ton of energy! Luke needs a wife who is behind him 100% too.
Fortunately Luke’s event isn’t one of the more dangerous ones, and of course I always pray he stays healthy but if he were going to get hurt chances are it won’t be life threatening, like say, a bullrider…. I probably couldn’t do that! I worry most about all the traveling he does, that is the most dangerous part of his job.
Tell us what your life is like while Luke is out on the Rodeo Road?
Busy! My life is very busy! We have a son, Cade who is 2 1/2, and a 6 month old, Jameson. Any parent knows how much work is involved in raising kids, so when Luke is gone, it is that times two. It can become trying at times, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if I begin to think of it in terms of another whole rodeo year, or how many months left until he is home again; so I remind myself to take it one day at a time and that keeps me feeling like I can do it.
It can be a juggling act sometimes, I work a couple days a week and my days are usually pretty long but I feel like I do what every other parent does, and that is to make sure you are doing everything you can for your children. Of course there is a lot of sacrifice at comes with having a husband that rodeos full time, but when I stop and think about what Luke has to give up being gone _____of the year, it puts it in perspective for me. He sacrifices a lot to be able to support us the way he does, he is the one who doesn’t get to put the kids to bed every night, and he is the one who doesn’t get to hear all the cute things they say every day. We make a good team because he probably couldn’t do what I do, and there is no way I could do what he does. It can be hard missing him so much, but we have a strong relationship, and we always find a way to make it work because ultimately our family is what is most important to both of us. I am really blessed to have a husband that works as hard for his family as mine does.
How does life change when Luke doesn’t perform well?
You know, luckily, not a whole lot. Having sponsors like he does helps, so we aren’t completely dependent on what he wins or doesn’t, and we are so fortunate that there haven’t been many times where he has gone too long without winning. I would say that actually the biggest challenge when he is going through a dry spell is the mental aspect of it; making sure that he doesn’t let him get him down and get stuck in that rut because that is easy to let that happen. It’s a long year and you can be your worst enemy if you start playing those mind games on yourself. I’ve been there! I’m his biggest fan and I try to remind him of just how great I think he is when things get like that.
What is your role as the motivator or do you both motivate each other?
I do think we motivate each other, but Luke is also a highly self-motivated person which I think is part of his success! I also think a lot of Luke’s motivation comes from his desire to support his family. I think more than motivation I just try to encourage and support him in his decisions and the every day grind of it all. It’s important that he know how proud we are of him for what he is doing, and I don’t mean because of what he wins. It motivates me also just to see what he is out there accomplishing; seeing someone living their dreams is a huge motivation for me to try my hardest to do the same.
Being a rodeo wife, what are some of the new adventures you have faced in this lifestyle?
Everyday is an adventure around here! Seriously though, I guess mostly you just have to learn to be very independent, and creative in getting tasks done when you’re at home and your husband is on the road as much as mine. You don’t realize how many things you don’t really know how to do on your own until you have to! Like putting the babies crib together 8 months pregnant, moving alone, and trying to travel long distances with two babies to go see your husband….. definitely adventurous!!
Tell me a pet peeve you have about being a rodeo wife?
This is a hard one for me; I don’t know that I really have a pet peeve about being a rodeo wife. I guess maybe just the people I run into that don’t know or understand the lifestyle we live and they make judgments about our situation not really knowing. I can’t say I blame them though, I can see how it would sound a little crazy to someone who didn’t know anything about it. In fact that is one thing that I think has helped make our marriage a success; that I was raised around rodeo and did it myself, so I know what it’s like when your out there and how much work it takes.
We have two boys Cade who is 2 1/2 and Jameson who is 6 months. They are amazing, Luke and Cade absolutely adore each other of course! Jameson was due July 8th (only the busiest time of year!) so Luke spent the last half of June and half of July flying in and out after every rodeo. Jameson finally came on July 15th and about 4 hours after he was born Luke had to leave to be at Salinas slack and then Calgary the next day.
Be sure and check back to hear more from Rodeo Wife Lindsay Branquinho!!