To become someone who is a “household name” often takes either a scandalous affair, shocking lyrics, or sometimes just pure luck. For rodeo legend Luke Branquinho, he didn’t have to do any of those things. Branquinho, who even the most casual of rodeo fans may recall from his signature booty shake after a good run, is a household name because of his talent, sure, but more importantly, his sense of humor, humble attitude, and incredible work ethic. His wife, Lindsay, may have also helped a little too with her well-known Western boutique and humor-filled social media platform, often poking fun at Luke.
With solid roots formed in the soil of the California ranching community, Luke and his brothers Tony and Casey learned what actual work looked like with requirements put in place by their parents to work for half a day. For the other half of the day, all three boys chose to work on their horsemanship and rodeo skills in the arena. With a solid foundation given to the Branquinho brothers by the working ranch horses, each of them found success on the rodeo trail. Separately, they did well, but one special event stands out. At the Snake River Stampede in Nampa, ID, in 2009, both Luke and Casey won their respective events.
Luke’s rodeo career was long and storied, starting with the PRCA Overall and Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year titles in 2000. It was all daisies and booty shakes from there, with numerous wins spanning two decades, including five world titles, fourteen Wrangler NFR qualifications, three Wrangler NFR average titles, and two RNCFR titles. Throughout his career and success, he was always described as humble and often shared his limelight with his horse, hazing partner, and family.
With every success story, the struggles loom, even if not seen by the audience members. Before Luke went pro, he competed and did well in high school rodeos, but something wasn’t quite right. A vivid memory of driving down the road and seeing double of the oncoming traffic still sticks with me. This was one of the first signs of the disease he would fight for the rest of his life, type 1 diabetes. As a young athlete, this could have discouraged and intimated him, but with the help of his family, he learned not just to manage the disease but also to thrive.
Luke, and his wife, Lindsay, bring humor, their personable banter, and beautiful life to rodeo fans’ social media feeds, and fans eat it up. Before the eras of widespread social media use, even the most casual of rodeo fans can remember the cowboy who flattened the steer and then stood up and shook his butt in victory. This was our first hint of the fun personality lurking behind this successful cowboy. His social media presence solidifies that with examples from some of his recent posts showing his workout and his goal to “make a defining line between my low back and buttocks.”
A recent addition to Luke’s resume is a podcast host. The Luke Branquinho Show is available anywhere you get your podcasts and is dedicated to the Western way of life. The show, which includes guests from across the rodeo and Western landscape, truly showcases the personality that has taken him from the rodeo arena to commentator and now to host. Luke has made many friends over the years, and he’s bringing those friendships to his listeners.
Luke Branquinho is already in the history books, but it’ll be added to one more during a ceremony happening July 15th in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For his outstanding success in the rodeo arena and his relationship-building skills that bring a positive light to the sport of rodeo, Luke is amongst the newest inductees to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. After twenty-one years on the pro rodeo circuit and fourteen trips to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Luke officially retired in 2022. Still, the world continues to know and will know his name, humor, and humble attitude for years to come.
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