‘I felt like a rookie’

Sawmill bull rider starstruck at CBR Finals, but pulls out a win

Bull tries to buck off cowboy

Submitted | Todd Brewer
Cody Jesus, 18, won the average race at the 2017 CBR World Finals in Cheyenne, Wyoming earlier last week by covering 4-of-5 steers for an aggregate of 357 points. The rookie bull rider collected just over $41,000 for his efforts.

PINE HILL, N.M.

Cody Jesus, 18, entered unchartered waters at last week’s CBR World Finals in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

With it being his first year, Jesus admitted that he was a bit wide-eyed and awestruck. The Sawmill, Arizona, cowboy said it was strange to match wits with some of the top brass in the bull-riding world.

“I definitely felt like a rookie,” Jesus said of his experience. “You had bull riders like three-time world champ Sage Kimzey, Eli Vastbinder, Tyler Taylor and Wesley Silcox there. Everyone that were there were veterans and I was a rookie trying to find my way.”

Jesus said it was a humbling experience to be competing with those top bull riders.

Nonetheless, it didn’t take long for him to earn their respect as he emerged as the average winner. During the two-day event Jesus covered 4-of-5 bulls for an aggregate of 357 points.

“It was fun competing with them but I didn’t let that bother me,” he said. “When I went into the locker room behind the chutes I already had my mind set on winning.”

Even Tuff Hedeman, the ambassador and chute boss for the CBR Road to Cheyenne, praised Jesus on a job well done.

“It’s exciting to see a young guy come into a big event and deliver,” four-time world champion said in a press release. “It is extremely difficult to be successful at a high level and he was riding with extreme confidence, which is a very important factor in bull riding.”

Jesus said he was pleased with his performance but he felt like his ride in the fourth round got away from him as he posted a no score on Rising Sun.

“I came up one bull short,” he said.

But in the CBR World Finals Shoot Out Round, Jesus posted his best score overall with a 92.5-point ride aboard Jaynes Gang.

“When I went to the Final Four I had a good pick and it just worked out,” said Jesus, who collected just over $41,000 for his efforts.

And while he made things look easy, Jesus felt that his third round bull – El Toro – was the most difficult bull he rode.

“He bucked me off once before in Kansas so I knew he was going to be difficult to get by,” Jesus said. “I gritted out and made eight seconds on him.”


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About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com