Rostockyj Dives Deep into Championship Bull Riding

Arriving at the 2015 Championship Bull Riding World Finals in Cheyenne, Wyoming will be extra sweet this year for the Mahindra Young Gun bull rider Cody Rostockyj. The No. 3-ranked CBR bull rider is currently ranked #1 in the CBR Horizon Series division and has been hitting the summer pro-rodeo season hard enough to break into the top 20 of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

That means things have been busy for Rostockyj, who is looking forward most to reuniting with his wife Tomile, 3-year-old son Collin and brand new baby girl Zoey, in Cheyenne. 

The long road is a theme not unfamiliar to Rostockyj, who grew up in China Spring, Texas near Waco and didn’t start riding bulls until he was a teen. 

“I never really had anything to do with bull riding. My dad rode some when I was young, but I never got on calves or steers. I played baseball, and one day turned 14, and I don’t know what got into me. I thought, ‘man that’d be fun to try,’ I’ve been with it ever since,” he laughs. 

But despite the time it takes, it was a commitment to a solid foundation that built Rostockyj’s bull riding career.  

“My dad, when I told him I wanted to ride high school rodeo, he made me go for a year to the practice pen without ever going to a rodeo or anything so I could get everything down basics-wise and then went to high school rodeos.”

Rostockyj admits he tried to dive off the deep end too quickly in a professional career when he first turned 18. “I just thought I was awesome and could go and do it and went and wasn’t as good as I thought,” he recalls with humor. 

So Rostockyj went back to the steady course he knows, building up his resume. He college-rodeoed for Hill College, competed in amateur rodeos and then entered the CBR Horizon Series.  

“I got all of it down better than I had anticipated and just slowly come into it,” he says of his flourishing career now at the age of 26.  

Rostockyj credits the Horizon Series with being a good opportunity to compete while working your way up into the televised CBR tour, which he debuted on last season in Lufkin. 

This year will be his second trip to the CBR World Finals. Rostockyj finished 12th in the CBR World Standings a year ago, but he has taken an even bigger step forward this season with his third place spot in the standings he is 344.5 points behind the lead heading into Cheyenne. Rostockyj is also atop the CBR Horizon Series standings. He hasn't won a televised event this year, but he's been to the Final Four Shootout Round on three occasions. In addition, his eight top-10 finishes is tied for tops in Championship Bull Riding. His best result is a runner-up finish in Lufkin, and he finished fourth in Bossier City and Fort Worth.

Rostockyj has ridden 44 percent (11 for 25) of his bulls at televised events, and three of those have resulted in 90 points or more. His high-marked ride of the season came in Fort Worth where he rode perennial Bull of the Year contender Corpus Red for 92.5 points. He also rode Footloose for 91 points in El Paso en route to a seventh-place finish. Rostockyj has proven he belongs with the world's best on a weekly basis. He has some ground to make up if he's going to win the World Title, but regardless of the outcome in Cheyenne, it's been a banner year for this young gun.

And even though he’s a veteran now, the finals are still an exciting time just the same as last year.

But what changes is the preparation routine if you’re on the road as hard as Rostockyj is this year. 

“If I was home I would go work out and get on a lot of practice bulls and just make sure I was ready to go, but I’ve been rodeoing all summer for pro rodeos. I’m in Ogden, Utah right now headed to Nampa, Idaho so we’re getting on every single day or every other day, so I’m getting on a lot, traveling. I feel like I’m pretty ready for it,” he says of this different, yet still advantageous, prep time. 

The rewards of a busy dual career in both pro rodeo and CBR don’t stop with the added money explains Rostockyj. 

“You get a different feel for something, you’re not doing the same thing every day. You’re not going to the same rodeos, watching the same event, you get to go to the CBR, it’s all bull riding, totally different. You get a little bit more hyped up, a little bit more music to pump you up, get you ready.”  

Overall, the road has taught Rostockyj important lessons. “Know your own boundaries,” he says and adds, “Honestly if you go do something, that going to mess you up, make you not ready? Don’t go to the lake and swim all day and then go to the bull riding worn down when you get there. It’s a business, so you’ve got to treat it like one.” 

And no doubt, this family man will be all business when he gets to Cheyenne.