Fourth-year professional bull rider Cody Samora has worked up quite an appetite for eight seconds.
The 22-year-old Lewis native and Montezuma-Cortez High School graduate began mutton bustin at the age of 3 and was riding bulls when he was 11.
Samora took to the college ranks and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., twice as a member of the Howard College Hawks rodeo team in Big Spring, Texas.
Between college and his Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association career, Samora has experienced it all. From the highs of meeting PRCA bareback world champion Kelly Timberman, PRCA defending three-time world bull riding champ J.W. Harris, and former three-time PRCA bull riding champ Richard Tuff Hedeman, to the lows of sustaining a broken right hand and wrist, right ankle, a cracked right eye socket, and six left ribs.
The broken right wrist is still healing, but Samora filed his paperwork and will enter the 81st Ute Mountain Roundup rodeo on Thursday through Saturday, and feels hell be ready to go. This will be his second year in the Four Corners longest standing rodeo.
Its fun. Growing up around here, I always wanted to be in it. Even before they moved it out there where its at now, Samora said about the Ute Mountain Roundup moving to the Montezuma County Fairgrounds from the American Legion land on North Garfield Street in 2006. Its kind of neat to ride at your hometown rodeo. Its just neat to let them announce your name. Everybody knows you. Its kind of nice.
Samora was bucked off his bull in a half second last year and hopes to have a much better performance at Bob Banks Memorial Arena this year.
Id like to try and maybe win it. It depends on if I draw a good bull or not, Samora said. I like to go out and make a good ride anyway. Thats probably my biggest goal.
Samora plans to compete in the PRCA circuit in the summer and fall. If his hand holds up, Samora would like to advance to the PRCA bull riding Rocky Mountain Circuit finals in Denver. Eventually, Samora wants to start competing in Pro Bull Riding. Before the beginning of the PRCA and PBR circuits, one must buy his or her own seasonal gear. Each circuit or season lasts most of the year.
Samora grew up around the sport, as his father, Tommy Samora, rode bronc and bulls as a youth and passed it on to his son. Cody Samora credits his dad as a major influence.
Ive always looked up to my dad quite a bit, he said. Hes always been a pretty hard worker. He made me go out there and earn what I got.
Cody Samora was a member of the Howard College Hawks rodeo team for three years and earned a certificate in ranch management at the school. He is the son of Tommy and Peggy Samora.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com.