This past weekend we had a chance to sit and visit with Cord McCoy. He told us that he grew up a cowboy. There was never anything else he was going to be. At around 5 or 6 years old he started riding bulls for fun. As a sophomore in high school he began to win…a truck, trailers and then cash. It was then that he realized this could be for more than just fun. He attended Southwestern State in Oklahoma on a full ride scholarship and then kept on riding.
We asked how his mamma feels about his career choice and he laughed, assuring us that her recent heart surgery had nothing to do with him! (she is doing great and we wish her well in her recovery!!!!) He was the youngest of 5 kids, so he figures that, by the time he came along, she had already seen every bump and bruise that can happen. He grew up watching his dad ride bulls and his siblings compete in rodeo. He credits them as being his role models and what pushed him towards Rodeo. He loved other sports, but his heart was always at the rodeo.
Cord’s typical day is much like many cowboys. He feeds the horses and other animals on his ranch, rides some bulls and does some training. On the weekends his life shifts and he spends days in airports and on planes headed to ride bulls at night. I’m tired just thinking about all that he does!
Cord made me laugh when asked the best and worst parts of bull riding. His answer is the same…the bright lights. When you win, they are focused on you and it’s the best. But bright lights focus on you other times too…like when you get hurt and are in a hospital bed. Not quite as fun to be in the spotlight then.
Cord has ridden in the International Finals Rodeo, the National Finals Rodeo and the PRB World Finals, while competing in 5 countries. When asked what goals he has for the future, he told us he is focusing more on raising bulls and wants to have world champ bucking bulls.
We asked him about his participation in The Amazing Race with his brother. Turns out, it was his brother’s idea. Being a horse trader, it only took him 30 minutes to talk Cord into it. Although the million dollars would have been nice, they both agree that seeing the world and the experiences along the way were priceless.
When asked for any words of wisdom to young kids who want to become bull riders, Cord said to just work hard. That anyone who wants it bad enough can do it. “Don’t let anything stop you” was his main message. He pointed out that the bulls don’t care where you are from, or how much money you have, or what your beliefs are – you just need to want it badly enough and you can do it.
It’s hard to deny the appeal of bull riding. The danger and the excitement keep us coming back to watch year after year. As Cord said, it is simply “one man, one bull, one hand, 8 seconds.”
Cord said he hopes to be back in OKC ten years from now taking a son or daughter of his own to watch at the Chesapeake Arena. We hope to see that too…but we also hope to see you each year between now and then! Thank you to Cord McCoy for sitting down with us and to all the great cowboys, bull riders and bullfighters we had out in the stockyards last weekend. Both those signing autographs and those asking for them!