Luke Brown – Rock Hill, S.C. ($84,939)
12-time WNFR qualifier
Luke Brown is making some room on the trophy wall of his barn. When he walks in there, he has a nice reminder of the success that he has had as a PRCA team roping header.
He has qualified for his 12th consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 10th place with $84,939 earned during the regular season. His previous 11 back numbers are all framed and hung on the wall. And while he lives in Texas now, South Carolina will always be home. He’ll be proud to carry the “Palmetto State” flag during the grand entry for 10 nights in Vegas.
Luke joined the PRCA in 1998. He competed in tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping in high school. Then he moved to Big Spring, Texas to go to Howard College and keep roping. When he got his associate degree, it was back to South Carolina – temporarily.
He had dreams of making a living roping and decided if he was going to do that, he needed to be “all in.” He took advantage of an offer from Chad Masters and headed to Stephenville, Texas.
That was 2007. Chad knew that world champion heeler Allen Bach was looking for a partner the end of the season and got Allen and Luke together. They won some rodeos, Allen got to the NFR and Luke moved up into the top 40.
In 2008, he roped with Monty Joe Petska and qualified for his first NFR where he roped with Jade Corkill. The next four years he roped with Martin Lucero. They won the average in 2010. Luke won it again in 2013 and 2015 with Kollin Von Ahn.
He has spent a good part of this year roping with another Allen Bach protégé, Paul Eaves, the reigning world champion. While they are excited to be going to the NFR, family and Allen remind them both that there is more to life than roping.
Luke and his wife Lacy were married in 2011 with Allen doing the officiating. They have a daughter Libby who loves to see her daddy no matter what happens in the arena. Allen has mentored a lot of ropers and encourages them all to put God first, family second and roping third.
That’s a good reminder for any team roper. It’s a lesson on priorities that can make the wins sweeter and soften the blows when things don’t go their way. With over $2 million in regular season earnings, Luke has placed himself among rodeo’s elite. But that has also come with costs. When he meets his family after roping at the NFR, and he sees Libby’s smile, what happened in the arena will be secondary.