“Afraid of Cattle” The Story on Trevor Brazile’s “Texaco”
From roping bridleless at the FWSSR AQHA show to carrying Trevor Brazile to multiple World Championships, Texaco was the man.
Trevor and Texaco doing work at the 2005 NFR. Dan Hubbell Photo

The rodeo community knows of Trevor Brazile’s superstar calf roping horse “Texaco,” but most don’t know of the struggle and determination it took to transform him into rodeo horse of a generation.

Real Cool Dual was born and bred to cut. And in 2000, he was about to become a superstar. In fact, his owner Bob Scott – who’d already turned down a ton of money for the talented little cutter – thought of him as his own little oil well (hence, the nickname “Texaco”). However, at Texaco’s big debut in Fort Worth, he’d come completely unraveled when the herd came up too close behind him.

The rest, Brazile says, is history. When the King of the Cowboys acquired that 3-year-old son of Dual Pep out of the Doc’s Oak/Doc Olena mare Lena’s Susie Oak, he was just 23 and only a few seasons into his rodeo reign of earning 26 gold buckles and $7,065,201 (plus another $811,000 at the Timed Event Championships and untold amounts at 30 years of jackpots). Getting his hands on a horse oozing with that much intelligence and athleticism was great timing. Brazile figured he’d be hauling him to tie down calves within a year. But it didn’t work out that way.

Scared of cattle

“He had a severe fear of cattle,” Brazile recalled. “He just hated cattle to the point he would worry himself to death. If you only loaded one calf in the chute, he never got nervous. But if you stacked up several in there and then rode him in the box, they’d be beside him and around behind him. That’s when he got freaked out.”

Brazile tried everything to chill the horse out, to no avail. When he took off for the summer that year, he sent Texaco to Lari Dee Guy, thinking she’d have him over it by the time he returned.

“She spent a lot of time and did a lot of great stuff with him,” Brazile said. “But that deal, neither one of us could ever get it out of him.”

Texaco’s magic was that he caught up to calves faster than anything Brazile has ever ridden. So finally, after a few years relentlessly trying to get the little powerhouse over his fear, Brazile put him in the trailer and simply learned to get around it. It was about just accepting that some things come with a horse.

“He was so great at so much of it,” Brazile said. “There were a few little quirks you had to get over, but it’s that way with so many of the great ones – that’s what makes them tough. The best thing about that horse was that, the harder the setup, the more he thrived, whether it was at Salinas, Cheyenne or the Lazy E, to name a few. For being just shy of 14 hands, he was so fast. He just knew the shortest route to every calf. That was one of his biggest strengths.”

Years of Texaco

Brazile rode him at the NFR every year he owned the horse while he was sound, which was for several of his 18 NFR qualifications roping calves. Texaco was named runner-up for PRCA/AQHA horse of the year in 2004 and ’06 while Brazile was earning his first few gold all-around buckles and four out of five straight Timed Event Championships (he has a record total of seven). Then, about a decade ago, Brazile took the aging gelding to the AQHA show in Fort Worth. That’s where Cade Swor dared him to show Texaco with no bridle.

“I had never done that,” Brazile recalled. “I’d never even thought about it. I actually called Shada and asked her, ‘Do you think he would work if I went without a bridle?’”

Brazile had no idea he’d get disqualified from the show, which required bridles be used. But after he went 7.8 on that calf and the video went viral, he has no regrets.

“That horse deserved the recognition,” Brazile said. “He got more recognition off that than he’d have gotten for winning the show. I would do it again, just to show people how special he was.”

So special, that once the retired Texaco’s stifles got bad and he’d lay down at night, Brazile would go out every morning and help him up. He finally put the great horse down.

“There was no telling exactly how much I won on that little horse,” Brazile said. “But he was a big part of the $7 million.”