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Spirit of the Navajo Nation behind Jesus Win at CBR World Finals

CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days

WEATHERFORD, Texas – Newly crowned CBR World Finals Event Champion, the bull riding sensation of the Navajo Nation, Cody Jesus of Sawmill, Arizona, kept pace with three World Champions and surpassed the top three men in the CBR to ride four of five bulls and win the average title in Cheyenne at the 2017 CBR World Finals – the eighteen year old Navajo bull rider left the arena at Frontier Park with the largest check and thrill of his young career…and life.

The former Navajo Bull Riding Champion arrived in Cheyenne for his first professionally sanctioned World Finals competition and claimed the average title that came with a Hy O Silver trophy buckle, CBR logo Fenoglio boots and Jesus’s personal favorite, a check for $41,050.00.

“I think I am going to buy a car and have something reliable to get to the bull ridings and rodeos in,” said an elated Jesus when looking at the jumbo check he received from Tuff Hedeman just moments after being the best bull rider of the 2017 CBR World Finals.

The Navajo Nation, who annually brings the CBR to Window Rock as the second stop on the Road to Cheyenne, is extremely proud of their new rising star.

“Cody has been riding with the Navajo rodeo associations for a short period since he at the time was still in high school. He first came to the forefront when he won the 2015 Navajo Nation Fair. Navajo Parks and Recreation was very proud that he had demonstrated that he could compete at the national level with his win at Rio Rancho. I see in Cody that he loves riding bulls and would enter at any opportunity to compete and I believe that his competitive spirit is something that motivates him to do his best at all times. The Navajo people love the sport of rodeo and especially bull riding and anytime a Navajo competitor in any rodeo event is doing well the people fully support the athlete because he or she represents the Navajo Nation and people. Cody is a winner and all events I have seen him ride he has placed and I fully believe if he is given opportunity to compete in the CBR tour that he will again challenge Kimzey and come out on top as national champion. The Navajo people love livestock, horses, cattle, sheep and it is ingrained into every person’s character, that the animals are sacred and must be treated with reverence and honor. I believe that Cody demonstrates that spirit in the sport he excels,” said Martin Begaye, Department Director at Navajo Parks and Recreation.

Jesus will once again compete in Window Rock at the Navajo Nation Fair where he is sure to have a warm welcome on the evening of September 3.

“We are extremely proud of Cody and he his record nationally with CBR, he has placed the Navajo Nation on the map winning the finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and we will continue to support him and CBR,” said Wanda Nelson, sponsorship coordinator for the Navajo Nation Fair, located in Window Rock, Arizona.

Jesus rode in the finale event of the CBR’s Road to Cheyenne televised tour competition after being invited by four time World Champion and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Tuff Hedeman, to ride in Window Rock, Arizona and then again in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Hedeman, a notorious mentor of young bull riding talent, then cultivated Jesus’s career by assisting him with travel and arrangements and being sure he traveled to the tour stops after qualifying by winning the average in New Mexico in January.

“It is exciting to see a young guy come into a big event and deliver, it is extremely difficult to be successful at the highest level, and he was riding with extreme confidence which is a very important factor in bull riding,” said four time World Champion and Chute boss, Tuff Hedeman about the new rising CBR super star.

“Bull riding is an individual sport and everyone has a different way of executing – learning to ride at the highest level is hard and I mean riding when it means something, no matter where you are,” continued Hedeman when asked about Jesus’s performance.

The eighteen year old CBR rookie won two rounds including going two for two on night won and earning the right to attempt the bounty bull, 243 Breaking Bad. Jesus bucked off Lyndal Hurst’s prize bucker on night one, but came back strong when he climbed on an old friend, 27 El Toro, of Jeff Harris Bucking Bulls on night two of the Finals.

“I saw his name next to my bull and I was excited to have that talented young man get on my bull – He was 86 points on him and the first to ride three – he is always respectful and is well on his way to making a name for himself in this industry,” continued Harris as he made his way home from Cheyenne with a trailer load of buckers.

With two 90 plus points rides in round four and five, Jesus spurred his way to the top as he topped the field of 24 of the elite bull riders where he says everyone has made him feel at home.

“You are always going to have strong rookies because bull riding is a sport of hunger and desire and your flame as a new guy is burning pretty hot when you are young. We create opportunities for rookies that they don’t see everywhere else, our job is to give them great bucking bulls and a comfortable atmosphere at Championship Bull Riding, “continued Hedeman.

Jesus was the first to ride three in the five round heart pounding foot stomping adrenaline rushed rounds after winning the average on night one. He bucked off in the semifinal round of Jeff Harris 31 Rising son but his 92.5 bull riding show on Billy Jaynes EG3034 Fraulein stole the show.

“When I saw that Cody had Fraulein in the final four Shoot Out (final round), I knew something special was getting ready to happen. He rode him in Salina for 91 and Boudreaux (Campbell) rode him Del Rio for 90. Cody was on his game in Cheyenne and it did not stop in the final 4. As a matter of fact, I think Cody stepped it up a notch and gave the crowd what they came to see and that is a phenomenal bull riding,” said Billy Jaynes, owner of the bull Fraulein.

The CBR World Finals has become a well honored tradition of bull riding fans who head to CFD Frontier Night Show to take in the five round action on Monday and Tuesday night for the seventh consecutive year.

The rookie bull rider who won the average in Rio Rancho put on a show spurring all his bulls without hesitation or getting out of shape. Jesus claimed the average and two rounds, including the richest round, the Shoot Out.

Jesus who just completed his rookie year in CBR took home a little over $41,000 for his two day five round effort which moved him from sixth to fourth in the CBR final World Standings.

“He’s a bad cat, we witnessed the start of a long illustrious career and it’s happening right now to Cody. Last year in Window Rock he ask me to pull his rope and he was a pile of points and I knew he would be one to watch,” said newly crowned CBR Kimzey on watching Jesus win the title he earned last year.

In the beginning

According to Heather Duncan, Cody’s mom it all started when he was fourteen years old.

“One beautiful summer morning when Cody woke up and walked into the kitchen he said “mom, I want to ride bulls,” said the very grateful mom.

She quickly hung a barrel from two trees in the back yard and he was always on them. Next she found him a practice pen and eventually bought a bull and built a little arena.

“We have an old bull riding tape from 1995, which we are grateful we still had a VCR that worked so he would watch that. He began to watch his rides and comprehend the sport. I took him anywhere and everywhere so that he could ride. He older brother Miguel and him would set up lights at night and buck bulls early into the morning,” she continued.

What does a Mom think as her son prepares to ride on the biggest stage of his life?

“During the event I just thought about how hard he worked to get to this moment. Our long drives, his dedication and desire to do what he wanted to do, the faith that carries him over and over to the next show. I just saw this young boy who always said that he has to try harder to make it and he will, I am so nervous every time he rides and I just pray for his safety.”

Jesus path to the CBR World Finals Championship

Round 1, 90.5 points on William, Freeman, Pepper – 14 Red Cloud.

Round Two, 88 points Hurst and Baker 43X Sheriff.

Round 3, 86 points on Jeff Harris 27 El Toro

Round 4, no score on 31 Rising Son

Round 5, 92.5 on 3034 Frauelin, Jaynes Gang

For more information please contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, leighann@cbrbull.com, 940.902.1112. You can follow @cbrbull.com and Championship Bull Riding.

Courtesy of CBR