(Editor’s note: PRCA media release)
COLORADO SPRINGS – Luke Branquinho, a five-time PRCA Steer Wrestling World Champion, had his season end abruptly June 2 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a run at the Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo, a ProRodeo Tour stop.
“A steer came over my leg and I’ve been to enough rodeos to know what happened,” Branquinho said about the injury.
Branquinho, who won world titles in 2004, 2008, 2011-12 and 2014, is scheduled to have surgery June 19 in Dallas. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Tandy Freeman. Branquinho was 30th in the June 10 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $22,423.
Branquinho, who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 14 times – 2001-04, 2006-15 – expects to be sidelined until October. He has the RAM California Circuit Finals made, and he will be back in time to compete there.
“The last three years it is kind of what has been going on with me (battling injuries),” said Branquinho, 38. “I’m hoping this is the end of it. Obviously in our sport and the older you get, there are more risks, and I’m hoping I will not have to deal with it anymore. I have never had any knee issues before or had surgery on any knee. I’m just going to focus on what is in my future, whether it is rodeo in 2020 or no telling. I’m focusing on the future. I’m not going to take anything for granted and go to it like I have done every other injury.”
In 2018, Branquinho suffered a left biceps injury and in 2017 he was sidelined with a rotator cuff injury.
Branquinho has had a storied career, which includes 25 round wins at the Wrangler NFR, the most of any steer wrestler in PRCA history. Branquinho is one short of the PRCA record for steer wrestling world championships with six held by ProRodeo Hall of Famer Homer Pettigrew.