Cody Teel…Cowboy First, Bull Rider Second

Teel’s consistency during the regular CBR season mirrored that of his career. He won the Texas High School Bull Riding Championship twice, proceeded directly to the College National Finals Rodeo Championship in 2011, and then marched into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and took the 2012 PRCA World title followed by the NFR Average award in 2013. He comes into Cheyenne for the first time as the CBR’s number 1 bull rider. 

The evolution of this 6’2, 155 pound Southeast Texas bull rider is a story of true grit, grind, and growth. 

The twenty three year old bull rider from Kounzte, Texas has ridden 70 percent (14 for 20) of his bulls on the 2015 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne televised events, and five of those rides have been 90 points or better.  He has three regular season event championships winning Rio Rancho, Lufkin, and the George Paul Memorial Bull Riding in Del Rio, Texas, a personal triumph as injury has kept him from competing in the holy grail of stand-alone bull ridings since he turned professional in 2012. 

He is atop the stat sheet for the most wins and his five appearances in the Final Four Shootout Round are tied for the most among riders. He has six top ten finishes including two runner ups and a seventh. His 91-point ride aboard Outside the Box, owned by Jimmy Jaynes, at Lufkin was good enough for the win, and that's his high score of the season so far.

Cody Teel has been at or the near the top of the CBR World Standings a number of times in recent years, but mid spring injuries have kept him out of the hunt in the CBR World title race the last three years.

In addition to leading the CBR World Standings, he's also currently seventh in the PRCA World Standings.

But let’s talk about the real Cody Teel. 

True Grit 

The 2012 PRCA World Champion has been pitted against Benny Cude’s 8043 Penny Lover twice and lost. The third time, with a sore knee and an aching foot that he padded with a sock between rounds two and three, he covered his arch rival, not just for a score but for 90 points. Going into the Shootout Round in Del Rio, Teel and Kimzey were not only tied for the title of #1 in the CBR World Standings, but they were also tied for the title of George Paul Memorial Bull Riding Champion. After two rounds including a mishap in the chutes during round two, Teel dug deep and pulled out the winning ride, which was more important to him than the win. It was personal between him and the reigning 2014 CBR Bull of the Year, and Teel won.


The Grind

Cody Teel has been riding or preparing to ride bulls most of his life and at this point in his career his consistency is facilitated by the fact that he knows how to handle the ups and downs of the road. Bull Riding folklore claims, “You have to know how to get thru the slumps as well as ride the high tides.”

Teel began this summer in the lower end of the PRCA qualifying standings for the National Finals Rodeo. He is currently seventh and on the rise. 

“You have to be able to constantly accomplish your daily goals as a bull rider. Teel has the mental toughness of Mike White, he takes the hit and comes right back, not just a comeback but he dominates, time after time, said Fox Sports CBR analyst and broadcaster Clint Craig.

“He has had catastrophic injuries and comes back into the arena with his head right”, said Craig who added how hard that is to accomplish. “Cody heard all our old war stories about the glory days. If you wanted to be a bull rider in Southeast Texas you had to be tough,” continued Craig.

Wanting to follow in the footsteps of some of the other great Southeast Texas bull riders, both Teel’s respect the tradition of the local cowboys who went before them and learned from many of them including Stormy Gloor, Roy Carter, Howdy Cloud, Gary Richards, and Lane Foltyn just to name a few. “In Southeast Texas you would rather get hooked then fall off at the practice pen and have the others laugh at you,” chuckled Cody's father Robbie, the first bull rider named Teel. 


“He’s a cowboy first and a bull rider second,” said Cody’s father, Robbie Teel, from the porch swing in Kountze, Texas. His father, a PRCA bull rider of the 1980’s and currently a well-respected judge in the bucking bull industry, thinks it is easy to pin point his success to that attribute.

“Being a cowboy means never giving up, being respectful of your elders and always respect the people that are trying help you and that includes the fans that bought tickets to see you ride. We were brought up that a cowboy has a code." With that in mind Teel is active in charity work, never too busy to shake hands, sign autographs, send a fan a special birthday message, and at Cheyenne Frontier Days, teach a news anchor how to ride a mechanical bull, immediately after bucking off a live one.

Wise beyond his years? Maybe. 

According to Clint Craig he first witnessed Teel’s maturity on a layover in Colorado. “We were all hanging at Myron Duarte’s house waiting until the next event. I was amazed at how he was a student of the sport, knowing all the old school riders and bulls, he followed people’s career (including mine) and studied them and knew what direction he wanted to take, kind of an old soul for his young age.”

But what grounds Cody Teel these days? The same as always - faith and family and a focus on staying in shape and being healthy. Cody arrives in Cheyenne this year after a four day swing thru four states with the unwavering support, as always, from his Mom Kami, Dad Robbie and better half, Kaitlyn McDonald. 

The CBR World Championship may be his to win or lose, but in life this young bull rider is already a victor.