A short film lets us into the life of driven steer wrestler Luke Branquinho.
“We always knew that he was going to be there from an early age. That guy had the drive and the desire.” That's what just one of many friends and family members has to say about steer wrestler Luke Branquinho in a voiceover during YETI Presents: The Bulldogger. The film charts Branquinho’s story from childhood pig hunting in the Southern California hills to his quest for a sixth rodeo championship at the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where he took first place in steer wrestling with 3.5 seconds during round 8 in Las Vegas.
As seen in the arena and in film, the physical aspect of steer wrestling is quite intense. But Branquinho, despite the litany of injuries he rattles off in The Bulldogger, doesn’t let trouble get in his way. After all, he's a five-time world champion. There’s just a dogged approach to work and life, which for the 35-year-old Branquinho is currently two-thirds rodeoing to one-third ranching.
“He’s a cowboy’s cowboy,” says another voiceover in the film. “When you imagine a cowboy, he's it in spades.” Although some rodeo cowboys might go back to city life after the autograph signing, the fan meet-and-greets, and—hopefully—walking away with a buckle, Branquinho won’t stop being a cowboy. When he's not on the road for a rodeo, he’ll return to his ranch on land his family has called home for eight or nine generations. That full life is vividly depicted in the short film. “My grandfather started a big ranching family. One day, I’ll hopefully take over and follow in the footsteps that they put down for me.”