When we set out to build Team Chevy Rodeo, we knew it had to be made of the same strength and dependability we put into our trucks — the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road†. We needed riders who are tough, ready for adventure, and determined to win. And we couldn’t be more excited about our team: Luke Branquinho, Richmond Champion, Tuf Cooper, Travis Graves and Fallon Taylor. As hardworking on the ranch as they are in the arena, we’re proud to welcome them all to the Chevy family.
Events: Steer Wrestling
Born: 9/17/1980 Santa Maria, California
Career Earnings: $2,285,732
World Titles Won: 5 (2004, 2008, 2011-12, 2014)
WNFR Qualifications: 13 (2001-04, 2006-14)
The most decorated member of Team Chevy Rodeo, no one embodies strength and resilience quite like Luke Branquinho. No matter what happens to the Santa Maria, California, native — whether it’s managing his type I diabetes while riding with an insulin pump or coming back from a season-ending back injury to win his fifth world title in 2014 — this steer wrestling champion never backs down from a challenge.
Event: Bareback Riding
Born: 12/16/1992 Orange County, California
Career Earnings: $1,361,234
WNFR Qualifications: 1 (2014)
A rising star who doesn’t seem like he’ll ever come down, bareback rider Richmond Champion became the first man in rodeo to win $1 million in one day when he took first place at The American in 2014. Though he started as a bull rider at age 13, Champion switched to bareback riding in 2010 at the urging of his brother and hasn’t looked back, with the determined rider making his way to third in the world standings in just a few short years.
Event: Tie-down Roping
Born: 1/31/1990 Childress, Texas
Career Earnings: $1,423,024
World Titles Won: 3 (2011-12, 2014)
WNFR Qualifications: 7 (2008-14)
Hailing from Childress, Texas, Tuf Cooper is a cowboy with rodeo in his blood. The son of eight-time world champion and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Roy "Super Looper" Cooper, Tuf won his first all-around title at the age of six at an Earth, Texas, High Plains Junior Rodeo Association event in 1996. After achieving a personal best of 6.6 seconds at the Snake River Stampede in 2009, Tuf Cooper would go on to win three world titles while becoming the youngest cowboy to surpass $1 million in career earnings along the way.
Event: Team Roping (Heeling)
Born: 3/1/1984 Jay, Oklahoma
Career Earnings: $1,147,091
WNFR Qualifications: 6 (2008, 2010-14)
Heeler Travis Graves has been focused on winning his first world title ever since he won the International Finals Youth Rodeo heeling title in 2001. After breaking the regular-season earnings record for team roping heelers in 2010, the five-time WNFR qualifier has been steadily climbing the world standings, landing in second place in 2014.