Brickey carries on family rodeo tradition

BY JAMI MURPHY
Former Reporter
02/02/2016 08:00 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
During practice, Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Brickey leaps from his horse, M&M, to tie a calf after he roped it. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Brickey ties a calf during practice near his home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Brickey is a professional calf roper. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Brickey has been involved with rodeo nearly all his life, beginning at the age of 6. Since then he has gone on to become a professional calf roper. JAMI MURPHY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Twenty-nine year-old Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Brickey, a professional calf roper, has competed in rodeos since about age 6. His drive to compete comes from a deep-rooted family tradition.

“I grew up in Rocky Ford, about 10 miles north of Tahlequah. My grandpa roped and got me started roping when I was 5 or 6 years old. I rode horses my whole life,” he said. “I just rope everyday. I mean it’s my living. I mean that’s what I do. That’s what I work at. I get up every day and look forward to roping. I like my job.”

Brickey competed in junior, high school and college rodeos and is now roping calves professionally.

“I love it. It’s in my heart. It’s my passion. I mean I love the western heritage and I want my kids to do it. My wife, she runs barrels, and you know it’s just in my blood,” he said. “I get to rope and do something I love. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job that I loved besides roping. I can’t look forward to going and mowing the grass or something like that. I love saddling up and roping calves.”

Brickey’s main rodeo horse is M&M, a 14-year-old quarter horse bred from Doc O’Lena, an American quarter horse that was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1997.

“He is outstanding in my opinion. I’ve had a lot of people try to buy him off me for lots of money. I’ve had him two years. He’s unbelievable. You don’t have to worry about him doing his part because it’s going to be done,” he said. “He scores so good, like in the box, and he can run. His strongest point is he can stop so hard. So he can make a stronger calf better once I rope him.”

Brickey also rides four to five other horses while roping daily just to keep him and the horses in shape.

Over the years, Brickey has won more than 20 saddles at junior rodeo, made the national high school finals and college national finals twice, and in 2007, won the International Professional Rodeo Association’s world title.

“Then I just worked my way up. Then the next year I won the Prairie Circuit, which is the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association). I won that in 2008 and I’ve just been going strong ever since,” he said.

In 2012, Brickey won the tie down calf roping event at the Indian National Finals rodeo in Las Vegas and plans to return this year. However, in 2014, Brickey suffered a serious foot injury.

“I was roping and stepped off a horse and it was turned completely sideways, so I didn’t get to rope for about nine months. I was on the couch, so I figured I better take care of myself a little bit better so I could rope,” he said. “You got to stay fit in my event, the tie down roping, because you got to jump off your horse, you got to run and flank a calf. I go to the gym, try to, in the mornings and try to stay fit. There’s guys doing it professional until they’re 45, 46. They’re kind of on the downhill slide. It really becomes harder then, you know. I’m just trying to stay fit, take care of myself.”

After being injured, Brickey said he “wasn’t going to take anything for granted.”

“I mean I’m going to work, put out the effort, and just do my best,” he said.

Brickey was scheduled to compete at several rodeos in January and February hoping to earn a spot in The American Rodeo on Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for a chance to win $1 million.

“Not every day you get to rope for a million,” he said. “I’ve traveled pretty hard rodeoing. You win a lot, but it takes a lot of money to get up and down the road. I’ve got a lot of help this year hopefully it turns out for the best.”
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ. – ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎳ - ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Steve Brickey, ᏧᎪᎾᏔᏅᎢ ᏩᎦ ᎠᏂᎩᎾ ᏗᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 6 ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᎳᏗᏙᎰᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏜᏗᎲᎢ. ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᎤᎸᏉᏛᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎤᎩᏓ.

“ᏅᏲᎢ ᏙᏗᎦᏐᎬᎢ ᎠᏆᏛᏒᎢ, 10 ᎯᏃ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎤᏴᏢ ᎢᏗᏜ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎠᏂᎩᏓ. ᎠᎩᏚᏓᏃ ᏗᏍᏜᏗᏍᎩ ᎨᎲᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏯ ᎥᏆᎴᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᏕᏥᏍᏜᏗᎲᎢ 5 ᎠᎴ 6 ᎢᏯᏆᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ. ᏐᏈᎵᏃ ᏗᎦᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᎰᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏧᎩᏨᏅᏓ ᏕᏥᏍᏜᏗᏍᎪᎢ. ᎥᏍᎩᏭ ᏄᏍᏗ ᎨᎥᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎤᏍᏗ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎤᏍᏗ ᏥᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰᎢ ᏧᎩᏨᏅᏓ ᏯᏆᏗᏛᎭ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᏭᎪᏙᎢ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗ ᏗᎩᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ. ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᎩᎲᎢ ᏗᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ.”

Brickey Z ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᎾᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏛᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᎾᏊ ᏧᎪᎾᏛᏅᏃ ᏩᎦ ᎠᏂᎩᎾ ᏓᏍᏜᏗᏍᎪᎢ.

“ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎤᏍᏙᎢ ᎠᎩᎿᏫᎢ. ᎢᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏩᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ. ᏙᏳᏃ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᎵᎬᎢ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏆᏓᏘᎿᎥᎢ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᎠ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏆᏓᎵᎢ ᎾᏍᏊ, ᏧᏒᏙᏂ ᏕᎦᏕᏱᏍᏗᎰᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᏣᏂᏔ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏗ ᎩᎬ ᎠᎩᏁᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏗᎬᎩᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏱᎬᏆᏛᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏩᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ. ᎥᏝ ᏱᎨᎵᏍᎨᎢ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᏯᎩᎮᎢ ᏗᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᏍᏗ ᏩᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ ᏕᏥᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎥᏝ ᏱᎦᏥᎦᏖᏃᎭ ᎠᏪᏅᏍᏗᎢ ᎦᏄᎸ ᎠᎩᎦᎵᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏍᎩᏯᎢᏳᏍᏗ. ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏙᎢ ᏥᏯᏯᎤᎶᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦ ᎠᏂᎩᎾ ᏗᏥᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ.”

Brickey’s Z ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᏓᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᎩᎸᏙᏗ M&M, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 14- ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏍᎩ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᏃ Doc O’Lena, ᎠᎴ ᎠᎺᎵᎧ ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏍᎩ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎨᎳᏛᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᎺᎵᎧ ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏍᎩ ᏐᏈᎵ Hall of Fame ᎾᎯᏳᎢ 1997 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ .

“ᎥᏍᎩᎾᏃ ᏫᏓᏤᏢᎢ ᎠᏯ ᏂᎨᎵᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᎾᏍᏈᏍᏙᏒ ᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏁᏟᏔᎾ ᎬᎩᏩᎯᏎᏗ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᎾᏈᏱᏍᎬᎢ. ᏔᎵ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏂᏥᎾᏝᎣᎢ. ᏍᏓᏱᏛ ᎰᏩ ᏛᎵᏍᏗ ᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ. ᎥᏝ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᏱᎦᎩ ᏱᏂᏛᏛᏁᎵ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᏛᏛᏁᎳᏭ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᏕᎦᏅᏍᎪᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᎧᏁᏐᎢᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏯᏓᎾᏫᏍᏓ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏭᏟᏂᎬᎬᎢ ᎠᏍᏓᏱᏭ ᏯᎴᏫᏍᏓ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏳᏟᏂᎪᎯ ᏩᎦ ᎠᎩᎾ ᎾᏊ ᏱᏥᏍᏜᏓ.”

Brickey Z ᎾᏍᏊ ᏅᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏚᎾᏝᎢ ᏧᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎾᎯᏳ ᏓᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏧᎩᏨᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᎴ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎠᏅᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓ ᎽᏍᏙᏗᎢ.

ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ, Brickey 20 ᎠᎴ ᏳᎪᏗ ᏗᎦᏯᎱᎶ ᏧᏓᏒᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏓᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᎳᏛᎢ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴᎢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏩᎬᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ 2007 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, ᎤᏓᏒᏅᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ International Professional Rodeo

“ᎾᏊᏃ ᏍᏓᏱ ᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎳ. ᎾᏊᏃ ᏩᏕᏘᏱᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏆᏓᏠᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Prairie Circuit, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assocition). ᎠᏆᏓᏠᏒᎢ 2008 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᏂᎦᎢᏐᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎾᎯᏳᏃ 2012, Brickey Z ᎤᏓᏠᏎᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏗᎧᏁᏯᎸᎢ ᏩᎦ ᎠᏂᎩᎾ ᏗᏍᏜᏛᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Indian National Finals Rodeo ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Las V egas ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎠ ᎤᏪᏅᏍᏗᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ. ᎠᏗᎠ, ᎾᎯᏳᏃ 2014 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, Brickey Ꮓ ᎤᏍᎦᎮᏗ ᎤᏲᎤᎸᏅᎢ ᎤᎳᏏᏕᏂ .

“ ᏕᏥᏍᏜᏗᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏠᏏᏙᎲᎢ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏥᏯᎩᎸᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏌᏆᎬᏘ ᏗᏜ ᎤᎦᏛᎲᏓ ᎨᏒᎩ, ᏐᏁᎳᏃ ᏱᏅᏓ ᎠᎩᏄᎸᏅᎢ ᏗᎩᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ. ᎦᏍᎩᎶᎢ ᏥᏂᎬᎢ, ᏓᏊᎪᏔᏁᏃ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏓᏤᏢ ᎠᏆᏓᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗᎢ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏗᎬᎩᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᏭᏟᎠᎶᎯᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎠᏎᎢ ᎥᎬᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏯᏍᏆᎵᎠ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎧᏴᏗᎢ ᏛᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎠᏎᎢ ᏫᏓᎵᏔᏗᏅᏗ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏲᎩᎸᏓ , ᏣᏓᎾᏫᏍᏙᏗᏃ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏛᎢ ᎦᎷᏤᏗ ᏩᎦ ᎠᎩᎾ.

ᏧᎾᎵᎩᏎᏗᎢ ᏫᎨᏙᎰᎢ, ᎦᏁᏟᏗᎰᎢ, ᏑᎾᎴᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏁᏟᏗᎰ ᎬᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏯᏆᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ. 45,46 ᎢᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏅᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᎠᎾᎵᎩᏐᏗᎰᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎡᎳᏗᏊ ᏄᎾᏍᏗᏓ. ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎠᏍᏓᏘᎢ, ᎠᏯᏃ ᎦᏁᏟᏗᎭ ᎬᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᏯᏆᎵᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏓᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗᎢ.”

ᎾᎯᏳ ᏣᏆᏓᏲᎤᎸᏅᎢ ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ, Brickey ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ “ ᎥᏝᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᏎᏭᎢ ᏱᎩ.”

“ᏙᏛᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎵ, ᏓᎬᏟᏂᎬᏁᎵ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎩᏤᎲᎢ ᏂᏓᎦᏛᏁᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Brickey Z ᎯᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏓᎪᎾᏗᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎯᎸᏍᎩ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᎲᎢ ᏓᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏂ ᏥᎧᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎧᎦᎵ ᎤᏚᎩᏃ ᎠᏋᏒᎢ ᎥᏇᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎺᎵᎧ ᏓᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎧᎦᎵ. 28 ᎧᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎬᏆᏓᏠᎯᏍᏗᎢ $1million.

“ᎥᏝ ᏧᎩᏨᏅᏓ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᏂᎬᏴᏛᎦ ᏗᏓᏠᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏱᎦᎢ ᎢᏳᏆᏗᏅᏓ ᎠᏕᎳ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏇᏙᎵᏙᎳ ᏕᏥᏍᏦᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎤᎪᏗᏃ ᏴᏓᏠᎯ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏍᏈᏯᎢ ᏓᎵᎬᏩᏢᏍᎪᎢ ᏛᏙᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᎬᎢ. ᎤᎪᏗᏃ ᎥᏆᏍᏕᎸᎲᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎤᏚᎩᏃ ᎠᏋᏎᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.”

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