Always In Pursuit of Happy-ness - Rostockyj and Harris are #9

 Always In Pursuit of Happy-ness - Rostockyj and Harris are #9

#9 Cody Rostockyj

There is no need to introduce this year’s #9 bull rider to the world.  The already most famous resident of Lorena, Texas, Cody Rostockyj, is the beloved member of the CBR bull riding top ten standings who every year while in Cheyenne meets and greets fans, sponsors, and the media the same as everyone who crosses his path – with a huge smile and time to give.

The twenty-eight year old father of two will make his fourth appearance at the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days on July 24 -25 and will be featured in the Cinch Shoot Out as well as the CFD Rodeo bull riding competition.

Competing in CBR for his fifth consecutive year, Rostockyj is one of the highest profile riders on the CBR tour, there is nothing about CBR competition or event planning that Cody Rostockyj does not know, or understand. The bulls, the crew, the pens, the schedule, and probably the license plate numbers of the 18 wheelers that arrive with the CBR arena and supplies tucked neatly inside.  

Finishing fourth in the final CBR World Standings for the second consecutive year, Rostockyj was lucky to leave Cheyenne in a vehicle instead of ambulance last July. In round one, he left the arena on a stretcher after losing consciousness in a bull collision, but after a chin full of stitches and miraculous recovery, he would thrill the crowd getting on for the second night’s performance and finishing the event riding three of the five bulls he attempted.

This year, Rostockyj rode in ten of the fifteen CBR premier tour events where he earned eight qualified rides on seventeen attempts. He was the first to say his season did not turn out as he had planned.

“I didn’t have the (CBR) year I had planned, when I went to Huron in August for the opener, I was focused on rodeoing – my head was on making the National Finals Rodeo, which I did, but it took me off the CBR path at the beginning of the season,” said Rostockyj from his home in Texas.

Rostockyj bucked off in the season opener in Huron, he missed Window Rock and Laughlin and we would not see him again until October in Conroe where he rode both his draws in round one and two but his early round scores were not enough to get him to the final four Shoot Out.

Even though he bucked off in the CBR’s Mercedes event in October, he would go on to finish his year in big style. Having a great NFR Is hard to do – especially when it is your first! But Rostockyj rode into Las Vegas for the first time and won Round 7 and placed in four rounds to rank sixth at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

He resumed his consistency in the CBR arena in January and February riding five of the nine he attempted, but the rodeo side of Rostockyj’s career would sideline the father of two.

“I didn’t expect or plan on a collapsed lung in Arcadia (Florida) to take me off track again in the spring. I managed to ride one in Fort Worth and then two weeks before Del Rio I broke the scaphoid bone in my wrist which is by the way - the slowest healing bone in the body according to my doctors,” continued Cody who missed the second half of the spring CBR events and Del Rio.

Rostockyj, who admittedly enjoyed time with the family while he was healing, was able to enjoy his son’s first year of T Ball without interruption and he is grateful for that.

“You know you go home and you get hungry to get back on a bull and compete, you know I always try and pick up the best out of everything, but it’s hard - always trying to play catch up,” said Rostockyj about the year.

My goal is to win the finals (CBR), I can’t win the big $100,000 from 9th place but there is a lot of bull riding to do in Cheyenne and a lot of money up for grabs - I am excited about the opportunity this year just like the rest,” said Rostockyj.   

#9 – CBR Bull Team Challenge Qualifier - Rafter B - Rockin C -  Jeff Harris

The second highest ranking team for Jeff Harris’s six bull team qualifications is the team labeled Rafter B – Rockin C and Harris. Earning $21,000 and 29 points, pipeline contractor and commercial cattleman Bob Blackwell of Wayne, Oklahoma teamed up with Clay Lowell and Jeff Harris to qualify this team for Cheyenne.

“We are so excited to be going to the World Finals this year with a team – we have been involved in the CBR bull team challenge for several years and this is our first time to qualify and will be there to watch and support both teams we have interests in,” said Blackwell.

Blackwell, owner of Blackwell Enterprises and Rafter B Bucking Bulls, runs hundreds of cattle in addition to raising bucking bulls but credits Jeff Harris with knowing how to put these teams together for the optimum advantage weekend and week out in the CBR Bull Team Challenge.

Describing Harris as a team manager that has great instinct and pays attention to all the details, Blackwell understands that the constant changing variables on the trail have to be used to your advantage to be competitive.     

They began their year in Enid, Oklahoma on January 7, using 15 Herbie, 21 Big Time, and 210 Sue City. Although Harris pitched a no hitter (no qualified rides) by the time he got to Hobbs three weeks later he had a completely different trio of buckers for this team which finished seventh in Enid, gathering a few points but no money towards qualifying for Cheyenne.

Switching it up three weeks later in Hobbs, the second outing Harris used 27 El Toro, 277 Dirty Little Secret and 231 Big Baby which produced two qualified rides and one that might as well have been counted. Dalan Duncan was 85 points on 27. Colten Jesse was not happy with his 7.84 seconds on 231 but that was seconds in the bank for Harris’s team and with Denton Fugate’s 86.5 on 27 he had two of the three with qualified scores which earned him third place and a $8,000  check for the Hobbs entry.

Moving on to Bossier City, Louisiana on February 4, this BTC was highly competitive and with less than one point separating the first three placing teams, Harris was third. Harris rotated 911 Hy Test on to this team which produced an 88 bull score. Caleb Sanderson rode 277 for the team’s only qualified ride score of 88 points, but the bulls were stout enough to get the 3rd place $8,000 check again and 10 valuable points for Rafter B/Rockin C and Harris in their last outing for this team.