Hard work pays off for #6 Cody Jesus on his first Road to Cheyenne
Hedeman issued the special invitation to Jesus based on the young bull rider's accomplishments. Jesus is the 2016 Championship Roughstock Challenge Champion, the 2016 Indian National Finals Rodeo Champion, Northern Navajo Nation Fair Bull Bash Champion, and 2016 Champion for the Navajo Nation Rodeo Cowboys Association, and the 2016 Southwest Indian Rodeo Association Champion.
With the goal of qualifying for his first Championship Bull Riding World Finals, eighteen year old Cody Jesus from Sawmill, Arizona rode two of the three bulls he attempted to win the average score for the fourth annual Bucking on the Rio Grande presented by Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation held at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho in January.
"Jesus is a tremendous talent, you don't get to do what he did tonight without it, he is a very capable rider and you can tell he has had a lot of experience already… he should make the tour and I expect him to do well," said Hedeman in a post event press conference.
Jesus rode two bulls for an average score of 181 points in Rio Rancho and that earned him a place on the Road to Cheyenne.
Jesus, who admitted to reporters he was nervous when he arrived at the Santa Ana Center, scored the highest mark of the night with his crowd thrilling 92 points on bucking bull of the year finalist 626 Karaoke, owned by Jerilyn Harmon of Elite Bucking Bulls.
"I was nobody when I started, and my mom and family really supported me carrying me around and driving all night with me. I came here with my family and they pick me up whether I ride or buck off," said a somewhat stunned Jesus immediately following Rio Rancho.
On February 4 he traveled to Bossier City where he rode two of three bulls and made his second Shoot Out Round appearance. He bucked off Lyndal Hurst's 343 Rio in the final round but finished third with 178 on two and enough points to land him in the top 20 ranking on CBR's Road to Cheyenne, the place he planned to begin to live out his dream of being a pro bull rider.
Jesus would go on to ride in nine CBR Road to Cheyenne tour events riding an impressive fifty percent of the bulls he attempted – 10 of 20. He advanced to the Semifinal round in six of the events and finished in the top four three times including the average win in Rio Rancho that launched his CBR career.
Jesus is looking forward to the Finals and acknowledges four time World Champion Sage Kimzey and the friendly locker room at CBR as a key factor that allowed him to relax and ride his bulls while learning the ropes on tour.
"I'm not sure where to start to describe how I am feeling about my first World Finals. It is a dream come true, I'm nervous but can't wait to ride, it's a feeling that's hard to explain," said Cody Jesus.
Jesus will be signing autographs in Cheyenne at Cheyenne Frontier Days inside the Indian Village at 3 pm on Monday, January 24.
For tickets and information see www.cbrbull.com and www.cfdrodeo.com
Leigh Ann Schroeder
Page Updated Last on: Jul 19, 2017