Fans, family cheer Jesus to first-class ride


Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Bull rider Cody Jesus from Sawmill, Arizona reacts after scoring a 90-point ride in the opening round of the Bucking on the Rez, a PBR Velocity Tour event at the Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena in Window Rock. Jesus won the event with a pair 90-point rides for his first PBR win.

Cody Jesus may go down in history as one of the Navajo Nation’s top bull riders.

Fittingly, Jesus turned in a first-class performance on Tuesday night during Bucking on the Rez, a PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event.

Jesus, 20, turned in a pair of 90-point rides at the Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena, much to the delight of his hometown crowd.

“Oh man this means a bunch,” Jesus said. “I mean when you score a 90-point ride at a PBR it’s well deserved. That is the way I look at it.”

With his entire family there and with the fans behind him, Jesus said he felt inspired to give it all he had on this festive night.

“Shoot, when you have your hometown fans behind your back and all of your family there you just feel unstoppable,” he said.

Of the two draws he had, Jesus said his first bull presented the most challenge as he maneuvered his way around Stage Fright, a Windy Valley Buckers product. The Sawmill, Arizona cowboy said when the draws came out a few days ago, the owner of the bull messaged Jesus and stated to him that the bovine he drew had the potential to win the event.

“He started working on me from the get-go, working on my feet,” Jesus said of Stage Fright. “I spurred and tried to ride like I knew how. It all paid off.”

Incidentally, that 90-point effort got his adrenaline running for the short round and he consolidated his opening ride with another, this time aboard Bad Brad, a Humpz and Hornz bull.

That concerted effort earned him the top prize of $7,508.95 and his first-ever PBR win. For winning the event he earned 120 points in the PBR world standings as he was bumped to No. 62 at the conclusion of the event.

“It got me going good,” he said of his first ride. “I know I ride good but I never knew that I was capable of winning a PBR event.”

In addition to his big win, the PBR made a big announcement, naming Jesus and Diné bull rider Keyshawn Whitehorse to the Team USA Wolves squad for next year’s upcoming Global Cup that will be held Feb. 8-9 in Arlington, Texas at the AT&T Stadium. They will join Ryan Dirteater and Stetson Lawrence on the team as Wolves coach Wiley Peterson chose those two bull riders already.

“I have to mentally and physically prepare for that,” Jesus said. “I know I am riding good and all, but when you go to the AT&T Stadium for Global Cup they are going to bring some buckers. I feel confident but there is always room for improvements.”

Whitehorse, who made a special guest appearance at the event on Tuesday, said it means a lot to be selected to this all-star cast.

“We’re going to represent the Indigenous people,” the McCracken Springs, Utah bull rider said. “It is going to bring us together and having this opportunity lets us know that we are doing great things in our lives. It’s going to bring confidence and motivation to our people.

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Categories: Rodeo

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com