In 2004, team roper Brandon Beers went to his first professional rodeo, the 10th annual Great Northwest Pro Rodeo in Klamath Falls, Ore., with his father, Mike.
And they won.
His $1,085 in winnings were enough to fill Beers' permit, and on his first try, too. Now, he's busy competing in the Columbia River circuit, where he's occupied with efforts to not only make the circuit finals, but the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo too.
"I was just glad it was over," Beers said about filling his permit. "I didn't know if it was going to take a long time. I was just glad it was done and over with so fast. It was a big deal for us. I'd been to a bunch of amateur rodeos, but that was my first pro rodeo I'd ever gone to."
Although he doesn't partner with his father most of the time, the two still compete together on occasion, and Beers said he enjoys spending time in the arena with his dad.
"We don't get to rope a lot together, but we still make it a point to rope together sometimes," he said. "It's fun. Both our partners are out of circuit, so we always plan to rope together at the circuit finals."
Roping comes naturally to Beers, who, from the time he was very young, watched his father do it. Beers said roping was "always going on at my house," so it was easy to get involved in the sport.
"I had a lot of good helpers," he said. "Everybody (my dad) roped with is who I learned from, and he always roped with the best, so I had a lot of mentors. I was probably 6 when I started roping off a horse."
Beers spends a lot of time in his home circuit, Columbia River, not only because it's close to home, but also because there are plenty of good rodeos to pick from, he said, especially during the summer.
"I don't have any problem going to my circuit rodeos," he said. "I don't go to them just because I have to go. I go because there are that many rodeos that are good enough that you can go to them."
Beers also doesn't have trouble leaving his circuit and getting to some of the larger rodeos, something important in his bid to someday make the Wrangler NFR. In 2005, he made the Wrangler ProRodeo Winter Tour finale with Brady Minor, something on his list of "big goals." Another highlight of his young career was winning the Resistol Rookie of the Year award for headers in 2005.
An accomplishment Beers would like to cross off his list is to win the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup. Not only is it a circuit rodeo for Beers, but a prestigious rodeo for all cowboys.
"Being that my Dad has done so well up there, it'd be really big to be able to win Pendleton," Beers said. "He's had such a time up there — they retired the all-around trophy, and his name is on the wall — that it'd be neat to be able to at least follow in his footsteps a little bit.