Local steer wrestler heads to national competition
Tracy and Yvonne Brunner of Ramona and several other family members already have tickets to the National Finals Rodeo Dec. 12 to 14 in Las Vegas.
Their 25-year-old son, Tanner, will be competing in steer wrestling after placing sixth in earnings this year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
It is a dream come true for Tanner. He has been competing in rodeo since age 5 and won his first saddle as a 9-year-old in a junior rodeo series.
As a sophomore in high school in 2009, he qualified for the Kansas State High School Rodeo team and competed in national calf-roping and steer-wrestling events.
The star football player graduated from Centre High School in 2011 and began his professional rodeo career in 2013. He has competed in 97 rodeos this year, winning $84,526 altogether.
The 6’2” 230-pound wrangler spends most of his time on the road with three other cowboys. They take turns driving to keep each other fresh for rodeo events.
He gives them credit for his success.
“It’s largely due to a team effort,” Brunner said. “I have a great team of horses and a great team of traveling partners.”
His family gets some credit, too. They are a rodeo family. His father, mother, and sister all compete in rodeos.
The official rodeo year ended in September, and Brunner already has competed at three rodeos for the 2019 season.
Brunner said he is gone from home all summer but has a few weeks at home in fall and winter. When he is home, he spends time working at his parents’ Cow Camp Feedyard, where he practices throwing steers to keep in shape.
There is considerable expense with involvement in the professional rodeo circuit. Brunner and his companions travel as much as 75,000 miles a year. They have to maintain horse trailers and buy food. Brunner uses a horse owned by Shawn Morgan of Oklahoma, and part of his earnings go to Morgan.
Brunner is excited about competing in nationals.
“After a lot of years of effort, it’s a dream come true,” he said.
The rodeo will be telecast on CBS Sports Network from 9 p.m. to midnight central standard time Dec. 6 through 15. Brunner will be competing each night.
He plans to continue with rodeo and hopes to return to nationals next year.
“I want to get back there and keep bulldogging at a high level,” he said.
Last modified Nov. 19, 2018