Friday, December 01, 2006

Cord McCoy : One of the PBR's Greatest

Bull riding can easily claim to be the roughest and toughest eight seconds on dirt. A cowboy of, on average, around 150 to 170 pounds pits himself against a mean, snarling bull of about 10 times that. For eight seconds, said cowboy must try to maintain his center of balance, being careful not to slip too far to either side, not to ‘touch up’ with his free hand, and avoid the bull’s massive head, and, in some cases, horns. On top of all that, he has to get safely on and off the bull. There are bulls that would like nothing better than to smash their rider’s faces in with the bar that runs over the top of the front of the chute. Other bulls will try to put a hoof into sensitive flesh, and bone once the rider is off and on the ground (this would be where everyone is very grateful to the bull fighters).

One rider who has made quite a splash since he hit the tour is Tupelo, Oklahoma cowboy, Cord McCoy. I had the distinct pleasure of getting to meet Cord at this past May’s Stone Riders II Enterprise Event at The Turning Stone Casino and Resort. Cord was one of the most pleasant men I have ever met. I had already been watching him with awe after he had jumped up onto the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series. The first time I watched him ride, one of the commentators mentioned a terrible injury he had suffered though a few years before, and how grateful everyone was that he was still able to ride. I decided to try and find a website about him that would have something about this ‘injury’, and all I could think once I read about it was that you couldn’t get much closer to cheating death. He was kicked in the head by a horse at a rodeo in 2004 and spent 5 days in a COMA! I don’t think anyone can get much closer to truly being ‘built ford tough’. The injury led to him making the decision to always ride with a helmet. Can’t say as I blame him, helps to keep the skull safe, and seeing as the skull protects the brain (which is a fairly necessary organ)…

According to the 26-year-old’s ESPN Pro Rodeo page he has been ridding in rodeos since 1985, which would have made him about 4 or 5. (Man, my folks wouldn’t even let me start showing cows til I was six and already in kindergarten. I may have to speak to them about that.)

With the PBR taking a bit of a break on the BFTS til January, when it kicks of the 2007 season in New York City at Madison Square Garden on the 6th and 7th (Darn, why couldn’t they be in Albany so I could go), I figured I might as well take a shot and see if Cord would be willing to answer a few questions so I could do something of a rider profile on him. I really didn’t expect a reply. Even with the top tour taking some rest, there are still Challenger, Enterprise, and Discovery events to compete at. Plus, his family is putting together a production sale, which will be held on January 19-20 of 2007, and seeing as he was listed as one of the two contacts on the promotional page, I had a feeling he would be pretty busy. And he’s a rancher, that right there says more work than anyone would ever really be able to complete. Still, you can always hope. And he did reply. And he was willing to help out. Such a nice guy. I sent him a few questions that I figured wouldn’t take too much of his time, and he has already gotten back to me with the answers.

So, at any rate, here are the questions and his answers.

1. What is your favorite city to ride in?

2. Favorite BFTS event and/or rodeo in general (either to watch or to participate in)?

3. What bull (living and/or deceased) would you most like to have the opportunity to ride?

4. Bull you would like to be able to include in your family's bull breeding program (again either living or dead) (or if you have your own breeding program/ goals)?
-That is a tough one, you don't know what works until you try it.

5. People (such as friends, family) and/or other riders who had the greatest influence on who you are (as either a rider or a person).
-My brother, Jet.

6. Is there any ride you would like to have permanently erased from the books or have the chance to do over? If so, why?
-Nope, you can learn from all of them.

7. Any bulls/ other rough stock animals you would like to have a chance to get on again?
-Here's Your Sign (PBR Finals).

8. Hobbies/ activities outside of the rodeo arena.
-I'm just a cowboy and a rancher.

9. Any animals or people you would like to be able to work with or meet?
-I like them all.

For those who are unfamiliar with the PBR, Vegas is the World Finals Event. The top forty-five riders in the world compete there. It involves two weekends of grueling action, with 8 total rounds, taking place at Mandalay Bay, and the Thomas and Mack Event Center. Vegas is designed to take the riders to the limits of their strength and endurance, while matching them up with the biggest, meanest and worst buckers that the stock contractors have to offer. The cowboys pit themselves against the fastest spinners, the biggest jumpers, and bulls that will do anything and everything to put the man that dares to think he can best them into the arena’s dirt floor.

Mudslinger is Mossy Oak Mudslinger, owned by Page and Teague Bucking Bulls. He was this past season’s Bull of the Year. I’ve gotta say that it is about damn time. He was runner up for a few years, but he really deserved the title. He might not have dumped as many guys in the dirt as bulls like Little Yellow Jacket or 2005’s Bull of the Year Big Bucks, but he always bucked hard, and he gave the riders good, honest trips, with no sneaky, cheap shots. He had an average ride score of around 92 points, and out of the 93 trips I found for him, only FOUR were under 90 points. FOUR! And the lowest of those was an 88.0 back in 2003. And a large portion of the rest of the trips where the cowboy got to the eight, the scores were mostly well over 92, as in 93.5 and higher. If I were a cowboy, I would have wanted a shot at him. Unfortunately, it appears that Mudslinger is going to be retired. Hopefully, his babies will do him proud.

Here’s Your Sign was Cord’s draw in the fourth go round in Vegas. I remember watching that ride and thinking, YES, he is going to put up a score on this bull. BUT, I think I might have jinxed him, seeing as he came off at 7.8, still it was an incredible effort. If Cord does get another chance, let’s hope he can even the score.

Cord finished out the season 45th in points, with two top tens in 18 events, a riding percentage of just over 29, and a qualifier standing of 25th. Hopefully, with a shot to start out the season at the first event, he will be able to climb even higher in the standings. He certainly seems to have the talent and the drive to become a future World Champion.


anne said...

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks

Paintsmh said...

Hi Anne, and in reference to your thanks, it was my pleasure. Cord is a wonderful and very sweet guy, so writting about him was truly fun.

Rosie said...

I thank you for your comment.