The practices of roping, riding, and branding found their roots in America during the 1500s when Spanish conquistadors and Mexican vaqueros introduced cattle and horses to the region. The term “rodeo” actually comes from the Spanish word “rodear,” meaning round-up, and reflects the early gatherings of livestock in the vast open landscapes.
During, the expansion of the American West following the Civil War, an abundance of wild cattle prompted the emergence of the term “cowboy.” As the culture evolved, these cowboys organized competitive contests that eventually transformed into the modern sport of rodeo we know today.
The open range served as the birthplace of rodeo, so without the continuance of working lands, one could argue that this cherished form of Western entertainment and tradition may not have persevered to this day.
In this new episode of Tuned in to the Land, we are joined by five-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Champion Steer Wrestler and recent ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee, Luke Branquinho.
Luke is a native Californian who has rodeoed across the country and across the world. Raised on a ranch in Santa Barbara County, he took the skills he learned on the family ranch and refined them into a career in professional rodeo. In this episode, Michael and Luke dive into Luke’s upbringing, his family’s ranching traditions, and the values instilled in him that shaped his path to becoming a world-class rodeo athlete.