Gruver cowboy advances to National Finals Rodeo
Hard work, a good attitude, supportive family, and a lot of faith can get everyone very far when it is used to full capacity, and a small town cowboy is finally getting to see the benefits of possessing all of those things as he makes his way to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. Bray Armes of Gruver, Texas qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. Dec. 6-15, 2012. He qualified 15th position in the Steer Wrestling by $55.Coming to the end of the Regular 2012, Bray had 2 rodeos left that he could count to towards the 2012 world standings. The PRCA only allows the cowboys to count money from 70 rodeos from the 2012 season, in which the rodeo has to be designated “official” at the time of entering the rodeo. Bray was behind by almost $6,000 going into his last two rodeos, and his only hopes of making the NFR was to WIN or tie his last two rodeos; which he did successfully by winning Albuquerque, N.M. and a week later tying for first at Kansas City, Mo. which was held during the last eligible weekend of the 2012 rodeo season The 2012 regular season ended Sept. 30. Bray credits his success to his Faith in God and his “Never Give Up” attitude.This has been a dream of Bray’s since beginning his rodeo career his senior year in high school in 2000. Bray was raised in Gruver and attended school in Gruver where he played football and basketball for the Hounds. He graduated GHS in 2000 and attended college on rodeo scholarships at Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas and Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Bray is one of the few elite cowboys that qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo all four years of his eligibility and was on the Men’s National Collegiate Championship Team in 2005 representing Tarleton State Univ. in the steer wrestling. Bray has competed professionally in rodeo since 2003 and in 2004 was the PRCA Texas Circuit Champion. After getting married and starting a family in 2006, Bray took a break from the professional ranks of rodeo in 2007 to raise his family. Bray moved back to his hometown of Gruver in 2009 with his wife and two children to begin farming. After taking a five year break from the professional ranks, Bray decided to chase his dream and achieve his goal he set so long ago and went to his first pro rodeo of the season in Odessa, Texas in January 2012. After hauling with a few different guys, Bray quickly settled in with his now hauling partner and good friend and Two-Time World Champion, Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb., who is going into the 2012 WNFR in 3rd position. After a long year of ups and downs, Bray closed out the season achieving his goal of making the Wrangler National Finals. Bray will be accompanied by his wife, Neelley and their 5-year-old daughter, Breely and their son Drake, whom will celebrate his 4th birthday in Vegas on Dec. 12. To follow Bray and his journey, join his fan page on facebook at www.facebook.com/BrayArmes and keep up with progress and send well-wishes his way. Trudy Hart contributed to this report.