by Bob Stephens | May 21, 2016
REDDING, Calif. – Cody Cabral worked as a welder just after he graduated from Walla Walla (Wash.) Community College but that didn’t make him happy. Cabral wanted to rodeo.
“I decided I didn’t want to live in one place at that time,” he said. “I could do that when I got older. What I wanted to do was travel the country and rodeo. I wanted to see what I could do.”
Slowly, but surely, he’s becoming a factor in ProRodeo. Cabral scored his biggest money win at the May 18-20 Redding (Calif.) Rodeo when he won both rounds and the average. He pocketed a check worth $6,611.
“I’m really excited to win both rounds and the average,” he said. “That’s really cool to do that at a big rodeo.”
His biggest previous win came last year at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros in Tucson, Ariz. He finished sixth there this year in February.
“Tucson and Redding are my two biggest wins so far,” he said.
Cabral, who will turn 27 on June 30, was enjoying his finest season in ProRodeo last year before he suffered a serious injury at Logandale, Nev. The torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for about four months.
“I tried to come back too early and pulled it a little again,” he said. “I took about three more months off and didn’t really come back again until this year.”
He had a slow winter, while trying to work his way back into rodeo shape.
“I was trying to regain confidence in my shoulder and get back in the flow of things,” he said. “I hope this win gets me off to a good start for the summer.”
Beginning with the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo – the unofficial start of the summer run – he’ll be traveling with K.C. Jones and probably riding his horses.
Cabral’s steer wrestling horse, Little Time, tore a ligament at the Clovis (Calif.) Rodeo and could be sidelined anywhere from three to six months. That’s the horse he won Tucson on in 2015.
Since Little Time was injured, Cabral has ridden Ty Erickson’s horse, Shake ’Em, the reigning Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year.
“I rode him my last two steers at Clovis and in Mercedes, Texas, and then at Redding,” Cabral said. “I’ve won money on him every time. I’m really thankful to Ty for letting me ride him.”
In 2014, Cabral traveled with Erickson, Jones and Timmy Sparing. Now, he’s traveling alone, sleeping in his four-horse trailer while hauling a team roping head horse along with Little Time.
“Everything I own is literally in my trailer,” he said.
Cabrals enters the team roping at some rodeos, and he can head and heel, but says he’s better on the heading end.
He was born in Hilo, Hawaii, where he worked on some local ranches and learned to rodeo. He moved to Walla Walla for college just after high school. He qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in 2010 and ’11 in steer wrestling.
He won the first round at Redding in 4.1 seconds and took the second round in 4.5. His average time of 8.6 seconds on two head was 1.8 seconds better than runner-up, Ethen Thouvenell.
“I drew some good steers and got two fast starts,” he said. “My confidence is definitely building. I’ve been working hard and I feel great.”
In his first five seasons in ProRodeo, Cabral earned $64,196. With his big victory in Redding, his 2016 steer wrestling winnings are at $16,533 and puts him into the top 20 of the WEATHER GUARD PRCA World Standings.
Other winners at the $175,645 rodeo were all-around cowboy Kyle Lucas ($4,843 in tie-down roping and team roping), bareback riders Winn Ratliff (Flying Diamond Rodeo’s Lucky Luke) and Colin Adams (Four Star Rodeo’s Lollita) with 82.5 points each, team ropers Seth Hall and Byron Wilkerson (11.2 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (85 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s White Lash), tie-down roper Justin Brinkerhoff (18.1 seconds on two head), barrel racer Kellie Collier (17.37 seconds) and bull rider Cole Melancon (87.5 points on Four Star Rodeo’s Hot Rod).
Read more about the Redding Rodeo in the June 3 ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA