Rodeo Wife Lindsay Branquinho… the calm before the storm.
If you missed our introduction of Lindsay please check it out here!
Well here we are, already at the end of May, which to me always seems kind of like the calm before the storm when it comes to rodeo life! The first, almost 6 months of the year are fairly slow as far as the number of rodeos Luke enters. Up until June 1st he goes to roughly 25 rodeos; the winter rodeos tend to be far from home for us, and long, drawn out events, that keep him away from home a lot. A lot of the winter rodeos offer big pay days if a guy can cash in, but it can be a long winter if you’re in a slump! The end of spring Luke gets to spend a lot more time at home since the rodeos are out our way; mostly just being gone for long weekend trips, and home during the week. Which of course is very nice for all of us! I always look forward to this time of year as it gives us a chance to be a somewhat of a ‘normal’ family. But I also know it means that things are about to get REAL busy…..
Luke will go to between 70-75 rodeos a year (75 are allowed to count toward the world’s standings), so you can do the math there I’m sure! It means somewhere around 50 rodeos are packed into the next 4 months, before the season ends on September 30th. So while in the winter they would spend sometimes a week or more waiting around at one rodeo, in the fast paced summer months they will sometimes be at two (or more!) rodeos in one day. It’s not unusual for them to be at rodeos in different states (or countries for that matter) in one day. They often drive all night, have multiple rigs going, and fly to get to everywhere they have to be. And that right there is why I spend summer at home with the boys!
I feel very fortunate to be able to report that Luke has had a really great year so far. He is currently ranked number one in the world standings with just over $43,000 won. Going into the summer this really doesn’t mean a whole lot though… gosh even going into the 10th round of the Finals it doesn’t mean much (just ask him!). Rodeo is fickle and things can change at the drop of a hat, and there are a lot of really talented guys going down the road. Luke didn’t really have any major wins this year but he managed to win money at nearly 75% of the rodeos he entered, which is pretty amazing to me. This will also be the first full year in a long time that Luke will be his own horse at the majority of the rodeos. We got his black horse, Spyderman, last April and he has been pretty impressive thus far. A huge thank you to my Dad, who was the one that made Spyderman coming into our lives possible; it has been a huge factor in Luke’s success and we are really grateful! Luke’s traveling partners, Les Shepperson and Stan Branco, have both ridden Spyderman at some of the rodeos, and Luke has ridden Les’s great horse, Dillion, a few places also. They are both off to a great start this year as well, and I hope they can all keep it up. It’s just so nice to see!
Here at home things are busy as always; we are gearing up for Cade’s 3rd birthday on June 7th, with a big extravaganza on the 5th. It has become tradition to have his party on the last Sunday of the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo because it always falls on, or right around, his birthday. It’s is one the closest rodeos we have to being ‘hometown’. That means lots of cowboys to help celebrate… just the way Cade likes it! Jameson is growing up so fast, he’ll be one in July, and boy is he busy! I have just started up an event styling business, and summer is prime party season as well. I have a huge event coming up the end of June, and a few others in the works for this summer already also. Throw in two little boys, a husband who is about to embark on a three month rodeo whirl-wind, the launch of my business, and part time day job, and I’d say we are prepared for things to hit a fever pitch around here this summer!
We are very blessed that we have so many people around to pitch in, and that Luke and the horses have stayed happy and healthy this winter. It’s never lost on us that those aren’t things you can take for granted! With the recent outbreak of the EHV-1 virus, we are trying to be especially careful and are just watching closely to see where that goes. If we needed to, in order to keep the horses healthy, we would keep them home. As it is, Luke isn’t hauling them anywhere unnecessary, is limiting the other horses they come in contact with, and is temping them twice a day. Those horses are how he makes a living and he works hard to keep them in tip top shape; they’re a special part of our family. As of now, we haven’t heard of any PRCA rodeos being cancelled or postponed because of it, but we are definitely keeping up to date on all the latest news. I’m hoping for good luck, and good health for everyone else hauling horses down the rodeo road this summer!