Heroes Come in All Sizes
Story and Photos by Eric Salveggio
(Brazos third from left)
Nothing is more iconic than the American Cowboy. On the silver screen they were made larger than life by names such as, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Audie Murphy, Slim Pickens and John Wayne. In real life we have names like Lane Frost, Chris LeDoux, Brody Cress, and Trevor Brazile. What many people don’t know is the names of the up and coming cowboys in the Junior division. These little cowpokes, ranging in age from 8 to 14, ride animals that fit their size, and that are just as wild as their full-size counterparts.
One such young rider stood out during this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days, 10 year old Brazos Heck of Oklahoma. This young man, who rode in and won the Bareback division, is the epitome of a young cowboy. Direct, polite, and serious about his sport of choice. No bragging here, this young man knows his limitations. While confident, he was still nervous about competing during the finals of his event.
His dad Odie Heck, a third generation Choctaw, was there to provide guidance and support. Speaking with his dad, it was revealed that Brazos started riding sheep at the age of three and fell in love with the sport. From sheep he moved on to bareback, before finally settling on saddle bronc at the tender age of 7. Now 10 years old, he is an all around cowboy riding mini bulls, bareback, and saddle bronc.
Now he is well recognized and sponsored. When asked, his dad said he has a few ‘small’ sponsors. Once he began naming them it became clear that they are not small at all! Those who are backing this young man’s career include the American Hat Company, AG Transports, Southern Oklahoma Livestock Auction, and the biggest one of all, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma! What an honor! His family is proud of their Choctaw ancestry and proud to be sponsored by the Nation.
This young man is one to watch and is an inspiration to his peers. Even the seasoned riders of the CFD were impressed, and said that this young man will be one to reckon with as he gets older, followed by them laughingly saying that they were glad he was a lot younger than they were!
Heroes come in all sizes and Brazos is one young man who, no matter the size, is larger than life.