Rostockyj Rocks on Winning 2015 CBR Horizon Series Championship

Riding three of four of the bulls drawn at the 2015 CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days and qualifying as the #3 ranked bull rider on the 2015 Mahindra Road to Cheyenne Tour Championship Bull Riding World Finals was not the only highlight for this year’s Mahindra Young Gun, Texas bull rider, Cody Rostockyj. 

Rostockyj was crowned the CBR’s Horizon Series Champion in mid-July, but at the CBR Awards Banquet and Presentation of the Riders in Cheyenne he received the $20,000 cash bonus and Hyo Silver trophy buckle that accompanied the championship title.  Rostockyj won the Horizon title by overcoming Taylor Toves of Stephenville, Texas, by a mere 220 points or in layman’s terms, three bull rides.

Month to month, the battle was fierce with over 200 different bull riders competing for the title which is accompanied by an invitation from Tuff Hedeman to join the televised tour.

Battling for twelve months while riding on both the televised Mahindra Road to Cheyenne tour and the CBR’s qualifying tour rendered a long season for the father of two who is thankful for his smart phone “FaceTime” app that keeps him in touch with home.

Phoning home with good news became a regular occurrence of the well liked, self-appointed “funny man” on the CBR tours. Rostockyj rocked on winning three Horizon titles including the coveted tour stop at the ranch of JC Knapp, the annual Bringin’ The Heat bull riding in Mansfield, Texas. Rostockyj’s journey produced the following results:

Horizon Series - Bringin' The Heat - Mansfield, TX - 1st

Horizon Series - 8 Seconds to Glory - Houma, LA - 2nd

Horizon Series - Show Me State Shootout - Lebanon, MO - 1st

Horizon Series - Ultimate Challenge CBR – Mena, Arkansas – 1st

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. 

Rostockyj qualified for the Final Four Shootout Round on three occasions on the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne, in addition to his eight top-10 finishes – one of the highest average among riders in the CBR. He is still on the hunt for his first tour championship title to top his runner-up finish in Lufkin, and his 4th place finishes in both Bossier City and Fort Worth.

Including the CBR World Finals, Rostockyj has ridden 45 percent (15 for 29) 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 sits in the top 20 in the PRCA standings and has some ground to make up if he's going to qualify for his first National Finals Rodeo, but regardless of the outcome, it's been a banner year for this young gun.

Overall, the CBR experience has taught Rostockyj an important lesson, “It’s a business, so you’ve got to treat it like one.” 

And no doubt, this family man will be all business when it comes to his future as a professional cowboy.