Tuff Hedeman Taps Navajo Nation Champion Bull Rider to Compete in CBR at the Santa Ana Star Center

Championship Bull Riding announced today that two local bull riders have been selected to ride on special invitation of 4-time World Champion and Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman, in the upcoming Navajo Nation Bucking on the Rio Grande at the Santa Ana Star Center on Jan. 30 at 8 pm.

Cody Jesus, the 2015 Navajo Nation Champion Bull Rider and Cody Strite, the New Mexico Rodeo Association Champion will be representing their organizations in the three round tournament style bull riding coming to Rio Rancho next week.

“I am excited and honored to come to the CBR and represent the Navajo Nation and meet Tuff Hedeman,” said the young bull rider who was first inspired to ride bulls by the movie “8 Seconds,” which was based on the bull riding careers of the late Lane Frost and Tuff Hedeman.  

Jesus, a left handed bull rider who has been riding bulls for four years is the former Indian National Finals Rodeo Junior Champion and currently holds the title of 2015 Navajo Nation Champion Bull Rider. Jesus is from Window Rock, Arizona.   

Cody Strite, McIntosh, New Mexico, was invited to compete representing the New Mexico Rodeo Association. He is the 2015 Bull Riding Champion of that organization.

But for these new faces on the Road to Cheyenne they will have to ride past the number one bull rider in the CBR World Standings, Cody Rostockyj and 24 of the best bull riders in the sport. Rostockyj, Strite and Jesus will all have to overcome the 5 titles gathered by the 2015 CBR World Champion Cody Teel and the two time PRCA and 2014 CBR World Champion, Sage Steele Kimzey, to win the lion’s share of the $30,000 prize, the custom Fenoglio boots, and a custom Hyo Silver engraved trophy buckle.  

In addition to great bull riding talent, four time World Champion Bull Rider Tuff Hedeman is bringing in 5 time rodeo entertainer of the year nominee, Cody Sosebee, and the voice of Cheyenne Frontier Days, Andy Stewart, to call the play by play action from the announcer’s booth.

Sanctioned by Championship Bull Riding, Bucking on the Rio Grande is the eighth stop of the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne televised tour and Hedeman will be in town to oversee every detail of the two hour, action packed adrenaline rush show. The cowboy pro hall of famer had this to say about his upcoming trip to New Mexico.

“I always thought and saw myself as a New Mexican because that’s where I was really born and raised and spent most of my time growing up,” he said.  “We produce events all over the country but being in New Mexico is always special.”

This year the race is tight and with points and prize money in excess of a half a million dollars for the professional cowboy athletes on the Road to Cheyenne tour, every weekend and each stop is critical to their standings which qualifies them for the World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming next July. 

“I really like this style of competition,” said Cody Teel, the defending champion of this event. “Nothing is given to you in this sport, and you have to take every opportunity when you get it, it can be a test getting on three bulls in one night, but being the last guy out if you are, it is all in your hands. The CBR brings great bulls and that sure helps.” 

In addition to Kimzey, Teel, and Rostockyj, contestants include the CBR World Finals Average winner, Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Okla. and bull riders from 10 states, 9 of them previous PRCA National Finals Rodeo contestants. 

In addition to lucrative prize money, bull riders accumulate points which qualify them for the World Finals, part of the legendary Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration. At the end of the World Finals, the contestant who has the most points will be crowned the World Champion and receive a $100,000 bonus check. The CBR tour is comprised of 14 regular season events and the World Finals. The tour includes stops from Jackson, Tenn., to Las Vegas, Nev., East to West and from Huron, S.D., to Del Rio, Texas,  North to South. 

The Championship Bull Riding Bucking on the Rio Grande presented by Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation is part of the CBR Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge. Twelve bull teams which are comprised of three bulls each are featured during the first two rounds of competition. Those bulls receive points for their performance in the arena. Additionally, the time the bull rider stays on is added to the bull’s score. At the end of the night, the owner with the three highest-scoring bulls will receive $20,000 with a total of $45,000 in prize money to the four legged athletes.  

Tickets are available through the Santa Ana Star Center’s ticket office with prices starting at $19.75 for kids and $24.75 for adults. (888) 694.4849,, or in person at the Don Chalmers Ford Box Office or Santa Ana Star Casino Players Club. Location is 3001 Civic Center Cir NE, Rio Rancho, NM 87144.