Steer wrestler Tanner Brunner has had solid seasons the last two years, qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo both times.
However, after two 15th-place finishes in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, he’s hungry for more.
“I want to get back there (to the NFR) again and have the opportunity to run at that kind of money,” said Brunner, 27. “It’s a big stage, and you learn something every time you are there. I just hope to use everything I’ve learned when I go back.”
This season has been bizarre to say the least with rodeos stopping in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and then restarting the third week of May.
Despite the stop and start to the season, Brunner has worked his way to eighth in the June 16 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $26,235. He moved up five spots in the latest standings, thanks to splitting wins at the Woodward (Okla.) Elks Rodeo and the Coleman (Texas) PRCA Rodeo. Both ended June 13.
Brunner had a 3.8-second run in Woodward and earned $3,266 by tying with Trell Etbauer. He stopped the clock in 3.7 seconds in Coleman and earned $1,925 after splitting the victory with Gabe Soileau.
“It was a good feeling to do that well,” Brunner said. “It was good to kick things off and get things rolling again. I wish I could go to rodeos everyday when I’m on a roll like that. I had a couple of good steers at Woodward and Coleman, and I just tried to do my job and make good runs.”
Brunner rode Miss Kitty, 13, in Coleman and Woodward. Cole Edge, riding Slick, was Brunner’s hazer during both runs.
When rodeos were on hiatus, Brunner kept busy working for his family in Ramona, Kan.
“We have a family operation, and I just tried to help out,” the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Brunner said. “I practiced a little bit, took some time off and let my horses take some time off. When things looked like they were going to get going again, I started practicing and getting my horses back in shape, but I enjoyed my time at home for sure.”
Brunner’s family has a feedlot and a farm, and his uncle has a cow-calf operation.
“I was ready to go to some rodeos,” Brunner said.
Up next for Brunner is the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz., June 29. From there he is scheduled to compete at the Oakley (Utah) Independence Day Rodeo, June 30 and the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede, July 1.
Courtesy of ProRodeo.com