Luke Branquinho Wins National Rodeo

Pro steer wrestler Luke Branquinho — profiled in the December 6 Santa Barbara Independent cover story — won his fourth world championship Saturday night in front of nearly 18,000 people at Las Vegas’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Branquinho, from Los Alamos, secured the title with a 4.2-second run and added $73,618 to his total regular season earnings of $158,962. Only one other person has more championship steer wrestling wins under their belt: Homer Pettigrew won six in the 1940s.

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