CODY, Wyo. – Ask Cody Teel about the shattered left elbow that sidelined him for two months earlier this year or the fractured jaw that led to him spending much of the last month with his jaw wired shut, and he just kind of shrugs. It’s bull rider code for ‘Hey, it happens to everybody.’ No big deal.
“I’ve had something pretty much every year,” Teel said. “It was a ruptured intestine two years ago, a broken leg last year and this time it was the elbow. You can’t let it get you down. You have to keep your mind on what you need to do, and I was bound and determined to get back on track as soon as I could.”
It’s hard to argue with this mind over (smashed) matter approach to things when Teel has just taken a ride in the back of a Ram truck to celebrate his first win in a PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour event and a check for $11,139.
An 88.5-ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Bo Didley in the short go at Stampede Park June 30 was just enough to get him the Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls title with 169.5 points, a half-point ahead of rookie Cooper Davis, the only other man to have two qualified rides on the evening.
“I’d never been on (Bo Didley) before, but I’d seen him plenty of times,” Teel said. “I knew his usual pattern … that he would start off to the right and then turn back to the left. That’s usually where he’ll buck guys off. He stuck to plan and I was prepared.”
For the record, the fractured jaw is “sore to the touch,” but doesn’t really affect him when he’s riding. He had the wires cut a couple of days before the Reno, Nev., Xtreme Bulls (he tied for fifth there) and just went back to work.
The left (free arm) elbow? Same deal. It’s still a little tender, but it is not interfering with Teel, of Kountze, Texas, trying to retain the world championship he won last December at age 20 (the youngest bull riding champion in PRCA history).
Davis won the first round with a 92-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Kojack (while Teel was fifth), then finished second in the short go and in the average to earn an event-best $12,030. Fellow rookie Elliot Jacoby (89 on one head), finished third and banked $7,238.
It kept their season-long battle for the lead in the rookie standings as tight as ever. Jacoby has season earnings of $45,747, putting him $1,484 ahead of Davis.