By C.J. Barbre

He has been a cowboy for half of his 11 years. The bright looking youngster is wearing a giant belt buckle proclaiming him &#8220All Around Barrel Racing” winner.

We first did a story in October 2003 when Brandon Sierra won most points for the year and won a saddle at the Springville Sierra Junior Rodeo. He repeated the effort in 2004, winning a second saddle. And this year his mom, Annabel, called again to say Brandon picked up a third saddle.

To earn the saddle Brandon said he took first place in barrel racing, second place in pole bending, third in goat tying and fifth in dummy roping. There were 35 competitors in his division.

Annabel said it was a close race this year. &#8220There were not even 100 points between him and the other little boy. He made no points at the last three events. He said, ‘Look Mom, I have 2003 and 2004. I would like to have 2005.'” She said he has also won a lot of prize money.

It's not like he lives on a ranch. Brandon and his parents live in a small subdivision in Lindsay. Brandon keeps his horse, Ratt, at his Aunt Mary's spread in Dos Palos, Calif., a two-and-one-half hour drive. Brandon has often had to content himself by practicing roping a dummy in his driveway.

It was his Aunt Mary who bought him his first horse for Christmas 2001. In 2003 Brandon took a trip to Montana with his cousin, Yevette Vega, a professional rodeo barrel racer, and picked out his current horse. Annabel said he calls the horse Ratt Man. The horse is trailered to events by his aunt.

Brandon has outgrown the Little Britches category and is now in the Junior Division, which his mom said is 11-14 year olds.

&#8220I want to do roping from a horse,” Brandon said, &#8220break-away and team roping.”

His dad, Henry, said with obvious pride that, in addition to the Springville Rodeo, Brandon has competed in the Los Banos Rodeo, the Paso Robles Rodeo and a rodeo in La Grange, near Modesto.

Brandon is a late child. The Sierras have a 30-year-old daughter who works at American Dental in Lindsay and a 27-year-old son. Brandon excels in school and says he wants to be a dentist when he grows up.

&#8220He loves Dr. Buettner, his dentist,” his mom said. &#8220Brandon lost a tooth two days before his fourth birthday. He had a fear of dentists. About two years ago he said, ‘That is my goal.' He hasn't gone away from that goal.”

Asked what he was going to do with all his saddles, Brandon said he would hang them on the wall in his own dental office.

But this evening he is on his way to a roping competition in Visalia.

&#8220You know what, Brandon is kind of like a little celebrity,” his mom said.

It sounds like he already is.

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