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On the Buckle

Ruth Nicolaus June 13, 2022

Retired pro rodeo bullfighter Dustin Brewer is the feature on the 2022 Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo buckle.

The Prairie du Chien, Wis. man, a native of Elk City, Okla., worked as a bullfighter at the Abilene rodeo fifteen years, starting in 2000, with a year off in 2002 due to a knee injury, then through 2015.

His career began when he tagged along as his older sisters competed in Little Britches Rodeo. He rode bareback horses and bulls in high school, and it was in the practice pen where his talent became evident.

A bull rider got hung up, Brewer recalls, “and I stepped in, got him out, never got touched (by the bull) and thought that was pretty cool.”

Throughout his 27-year career, Brewer worked the Abilene rodeo and other major rodeos including Tucson, Ariz.; Greeley, Colo.; Oakley, Utah; Salt Lake City, and many others like Elk City, Okla., Sikeston, Mo., Burwell, Neb., and Manhattan, Kan.

He also competed in the Wrangler Bullfights, and in 2000, was ranked fourth in the Bullfights when he broke a leg during the Bullfights in Sikeston, ending his chance of competing at the National Finals Rodeo that year.

Brewer loved coming to Abilene. “As soon as you pulled into those gates,” he said, “everyone greeted you, and if they weren’t there, as soon as they came, they greeted you. At some rodeos, you might have three or four people you connect with. In Abilene, you connected with everybody.”

He and his wife Tarra married in Abilene in 2004, because he was so close to committee members. Abilene “was one of the rodeos that was more like family. You weren’t going just to a rodeo, you were going to a family reunion. That’s just how the rodeo committee made you feel.”

The committee loved working with him, said Jerry Marsteller, rodeo committee chair. “He was with us for fifteen years and did one hell of a job. And he said, you guys here aren’t just friends, you’re family. That’s how we consider Dustin and his family.”

Brewer was honored to be included with such greats as Lecile Harris, Mike Mathis, Gerald Roberts, and other rodeo legends who have been on buckles. “Even just to be considered is an honor,” he said. “You have people (on the buckles) that are highly thought of in rodeo, and not just in Abilene but in the world. So to be on one, is pretty amazing, really.”

He and his wife Tarra and sons Brogan and Brylee will be in Abilene for this year’s rodeo.

Brewer’s likeness on the buckle is the sixth in the fifth series. The buckle collection started in 1989.

The annual buckle auction for the rodeo will be held Monday, August 1 at the historic Shockey and Landes Building in Abilene at 324 North Broadway.  Buckles numbered one through ten and number 500 will be auctioned off.

Social hour for the auction begins at 7 pm, with the auction to follow at 7:30 pm. The rodeo takes place August 3-6 at 7:30 pm each night in Abilene at Eisenhower Park. For more information, visit www.WildBillHickokRodeo.com

Photo via WIld Bill Hickock Rodeo – Bullfighter Dustin Brewer’s likeness is featured on the 2022 Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene. The highly-revered cowboy worked the Abilene rodeo for fifteen years.

 

1st series

1989 – Bruce Miller, saddle bronc riding

1990 – Cary Bryant, calf roping

1991 – Jon Greenough, bareback riding

1992 – Tracy Brunner, steer wrestling

1993 – Donna Samples, barrel racing

1994 – Paul Whitehair, bull riding

1995 – 50th anniversary of the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo

2nd series

1996 – Gerald Roberts, saddle bronc riding

1997 – Phil Bryant, calf roping

1998 – Mark Brunner, bareback riding

1999 – Jim Janke, steer wrestling

2000 – Guy Winters, Sr. and Guy Winters, Jr. team roping

2001 – Stacy Krueger, barrel racing

2002 – John McDonald, bull riding

3rd series

2003 – Steve Davis, bareback riding

2004 – Ty Brant, calf roping

2005 – Jared Roberts, saddle bronc riding

2006 – Bob Pound, steer wrestling

2007 – Scott Bankes and Billy Randle, team roping

2008 – Shaleigh Smith, barrel racing

2009 – Geff Dawson, bull riding

4th series

2010 – Jerry Short, bareback riding

2011 – Wayne Bailey, steer wrestling

2012 – Keegan Knox, saddle bronc riding

2013-  Duane Carson, tie-down roping

2014 – Karl Langvardt and Steve Zumbrunn, team roping

2015 – Micah Samples, barrel racing

2016 – Jimmy Crowther, bull riding

5th series

2017 – Glen Dawson, bareback rider

2018 – Andrews Rodeo Co., stock contractor

2019 – Mike Mathis, rodeo announcer

2020 –  75th anniversary buckle (no rodeo due to Covid)

2021 – Lecile Harris, rodeo clown and specialty act

2022 – Dustin Brewer, bullfighter

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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