By Dani Blackburn, [email protected]
“There is so much rodeo can teach you, not just as a sport, but in life in general. In rodeo, you must compete to get paid. You can’t be a sissy. Rodeo teaches you to go way down deep inside and it draws out a character in you that you didn’t even know you had.” – Brandon Dunn
Rodeo is a part of the Dunn family heritage, but it is not the reason Brandon and Brendall find themselves inside the rodeo arena. It is a deep-seated love for rodeo and a family bond that runs generations deep.
Brandon grew up in Okmulgee, Okla., before moving to Petrolia, Texas, in 1979. The family was heavily involved in rodeo, with his father bulldogging and his mother running barrels, and his uncle was a PRCA bull fighter inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
“That’s all I ever wanted to be growing up was a bullfighter and a clown. We have home videos of me. I am only three years old, all made up, with a little stuffed bull. I would put him on the floor and run around him,” Brandon said.
Brandon got his official start into bull fighting at the age of 14. He would travel across the river to Waurika for practice sessions at his uncle’s bull fighting school every chance he got. He also began working junior rodeos and high school rodeos, eventually moving on to college and amateur rodeos.
In 1994, Brandon received his PRCA card and started professional rodeos and PBR events. He recalls his favorite rodeo to work was Fort Madison, which included big concerts and getting to meet individuals like Toby Keith.
Brandon’s bull fighting career came to an end in 2003 when he was hit by a drunk driver on Highway 79. The wreck took the life of his seven-year-old daughter and left him with serious injuries. Brandon did not fight bulls for more than a decade, until his son Brendall managed to draw him back to the arena.
“The wreck put a stop to my rodeo career for a long time. As a matter of fact, I thought it was done until Brendall here came along. When he was 11, he was always on me about fighting bulls. I finally told him he was going to have to get in shape and show me something. It got to where he was doing 100 pushups and 100 sit-ups a night. He was running every day. It was time to put up or shut up, so we got him a little Miniature Zebu bull. I figured it could roll him around a little and then that would be that,” Brandon sad. “Well, Brendall got in that cow lot of ours at the house. He put his own pump-up music on his phone. He’d go out there and he’d fight that little bull. I thought maybe it was time if he was really that serious about this, but I wanted to go with him. So, I started getting in the barrel.”
To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR Magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.
The 45th Annual National Golden Spur Award Honors Brings Cody Johnson to the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences Nov. 3
The 45th Annual National Golden Spur Award Honors, celebrating the spirit of the American rancher and the enduring tradition of ranching, is set to take place on November 3, 2023, at the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock, Texas, featuring an exclusive acoustic performance by country music superstar Cody Johnson.
This prestigious event is the pinnacle of recognition for the ranching and livestock industries, spotlighting those who forge ahead in continuing the incredible story of ranching. The night will be illuminated by the presence of the National Golden Spur Award honoree Craig Haythorn of Arthur, Nebraska, and the Ranching Heritage Association (RHA) Working Cowboy Award recipient Jimbo Humphreys of Dickens, Texas.
“We are thrilled to honor these exceptional individuals who embody the heart and soul of the American ranching tradition,” said Jim Bret Campbell, Executive Director of the Ranching Heritage Association and National Ranching Heritage Center. “With special guest Cody Johnson adding his musical talent to the night, we are sure it’s going to be a memorable celebration of ranching heritage.”
Other notable appearances include professional announcer and host for The Cowboy Channel Justin McKee, Western singer and entertainer Red Steagall, CMA Award Winner Trent Willmon, and other special guests.
Proceeds from the National Golden Spur Award Honors will go towards the preservation of ranching heritage and history. To learn more about the National Golden Spur Award Honors and the award recipients, visit goldenspurhonors.com.
Tickets range from $150 to $400. All tickets include access to the National Golden Spur Award Honors Pre-Show Reception and the Awards Show. Select tickets also grant access to the Cattleman’s Club VIP Dining, a unique culinary experience with exclusively themed food stations and beverages.
Tickets are available through the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences box office and website. For more information on ticket pricing, inclusions, the event schedule, and planning your visit, check out the official event website at goldenspurhonors.com.
About the National Golden Spur Award Honors
The National Golden Spur Award Honors recognizes the recipients of the National Golden Spur Award and the Ranching Heritage Association Working Cowboy Award. The National Golden Spur Award is the most prestigious recognition given by the ranching and livestock industries. It is a joint annual recognition historically given by six of the leading state and national ranching and livestock organizations, including the American Quarter Horse Association, National Cattlemen’s Foundation, Ranching Heritage Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Farm Bureau, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Suggested Photo Captions:
Cody Johnson.jpg – Country music recording artist Cody Johnson will perform a live acoustic performance during the 45th Annual National Golden Spur Awards. (Photo courtesy of Cody Johnson Music)
Red Steagall.jpg– Western entertainer Red Steagall will present and perform at the 45th Annual National Golden Spur Awards. (Photo courtesy of National Ranching Heritage Center)
Craig Haythorn-by Peter Robbins.jpg– Craig Haythorn, fourth generation owner and operator of Haythorn Land & Cattle Co., will receive the 45th National Golden Spur Award. Established in 1978, the award has been conferred upon iconic industry leaders whose unparalleled devotion to land and livestock has earned them notable respect and admiration from their peers. (Photograph by Peter Robbins)
Jimbo Humphreys 3 – by Ross Hecox.jpg – Jimbo Humphreys, ranch manager of Guitar Ranches, will receive the Ranching Heritage Association Working Cowboy Award. Established in 2018, the award recognizes men and women who make their living in the saddle taking care of livestock and land daily. (Photograph by Ross Hecox)
When a City Girl Goes Country
By Annette Bridges
One might think living over four decades on a working cattle ranch there would not be anything not seen or experienced. The truth about this city girl is the more I embrace my
life as a cattle rancher the more first-times happen. Remember, I’ve told y’all before that
it took me almost 40 years to become comfortable with my life in the country. Perhaps the
surprises that continue to occur is largely due to my increased awareness of and participation
in our ranching operation.
The summer drought of 2022 brought many unwanted firsts for our ranch, but amongst the
ugliness was some beautiful and precious, too. When the herd was in our southwest pasture,
we could place the water tanks along the east fence that was close enough to allow for filling with water hoses rather than hauling the water tank. Of course, filling with water hoses
was much slower so it meant I spent many hours hanging out during the process.
To read more, pick up a copy of the September issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.
Lacey’s Pantry: Cheesy Ranch Potatoes
By Lacey Vilhauer
8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted 1 ¼ cups milk 1 envelope of Ranch dressing mix 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided salt and pepper 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Add the potatoes to a pot, cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Place potatoes in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix soup, milk, Ranch packet, 1 cup of cheese and salt and pepper.
To read more, pick up a copy of the August issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.
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