Saddle Bronc Rider Chase Brooks among top 15 in the world
Chase Brooks is a three-time RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo qualifier and your 2019 reigning champion! He’s currently sitting number seven in the RAM World standings as he gets ready to gear up in hopes to win a gold buckle in December at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He qualified for his first WNFR in 2018, and this will be his second trip to Las Vegas!
Growing up, Chase was no stranger to the sport of rodeo. His father Matt Brooks was a bronc rider. Like most cowboys starting out, Chase rode sheep at a young age, graduating to steers, and then onto bucking horses. His first competition was at the National High School Rodeo in 2009. “I rode my first horse but didn’t mark him out. After that, I fell off the next 200 or so I tried to ride. I had to work hard over the years to get better. I work out every day. Typically, I train the entire month of November, lifting weights and using bucking machines. This also helps prevent injuries.”
When fans watch bull riding, the concept is pretty easy to grasp during that event. In the saddle bronc riding event, “We use a bronc rein that is a braided twine rope that attaches to the halter on a horse’s head and stirrup leathers, which is like a regular saddle, with no horn, with the stirrups are moved forward to allow the rider the spurring motion. We also use a different type of spur, called bronc spurs. These are shorter shanked spurs that don’t hurt the horse, they just help provide the rider with better contact to the horse. Riders have to be careful though. If your feet get going too quick, you can kick yourself in the butt and shoot right out of the saddle.”
Just making the eight-second whistle isn’t enough in this event. Cowboys have to spur well, which is also what the rider gets judged on. “When you start out, you hope to make the whistle, but when you reach the pro level, you have to ride your very best on each horse.”
If you ask Chase to describe what it feels like to be on the back of a 1200-pound bucking horse, he says, “It’s like a dance. It’s a pretty indescribable feeling. Nothing beats when you get tapped out on a great horse. We aren’t competing against the horse, we are competing with the horse. The flow you get into when you are on a bronc can feel like dancing with them.” I am not sure if you placed just anyone on the back of a 1200-pound bucking horse they would feel the same as Chase, but the pros sure make it look effortless!
We hope you’ll join us for the 2020 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee to witness contestants like Chase, who are among the top saddle bronc riders in the world, as they go head-to-head for a $1 million purse of cash and prizes.