Kody Woodward. Photo by Phil Kitts.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Steer wrestler Kody Woodward was familiar with the setup at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, and he used that insight to collect one of the biggest wins of his career.
The 27-year-old native of Dupree, S.D., grew up just 146 miles from where the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo takes place, and he won his first title at the Jan. 30 through Feb. 6 rodeo with a 3.6-second time.
“I high school rodeoed at that arena, and had a lot of success there,” Woodward said. “I competed there three times in high school, and won each time. Knowing the setup made me more comfortable and made things easier.”
It wasn’t necessarily easy for Woodward when he made his run Feb. 5. His steer stopped almost immediately after leaving the box, which created an awkward-looking run. However, that didn’t make the $3,996 check he earned any less sweet.
“The steer stopped right away, and I jumped on him in about six-tenths of a second and it took me about three seconds to get him on the ground,” Woodward said. “It wasn’t the prettiest run, but I’ll take it.”
It was a homecoming of sorts for Woodward, literally. He moved from Dupree to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva) for four years, and then stayed and helped coach the rodeo team for another four.
Woodward recently moved back home to Dupree, where he helps with the family ranch while rodeoing.
“The Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo is the biggest rodeo around this area,” he said. “I had 10-12 family members there cheering for me, and you can’t walk around town without seeing someone you know. It was great to be able win in front of them.”
The win was big for Woodward’s confidence as he tries to get back to a routine on the rodeo road. He tore a pectoral muscle during a run in Denver in 2015 and missed most of last season recovering. He finished with total earnings of just $4,991, one year after making $18,143 and winning the All American Finals in Waco, Texas, in 2014.
“Rodeo is still a priority, and I’m excited to get going this year after being hurt last season,” he said. “I took almost a whole year off, but I’m healthy now.
“The goal is always to make it to the (Wrangler) National Finals Rodeo, and I’m trying to get enough money won to make the NFR this year. I’m traveling with Chason Floyd, Billy Boldon and Taz Olson. We’re all from South Dakota, and all grew up together. We’re having a blast so far.”
Other winners at the $181,186 rodeo were all-around cowboy Kaden Deal ($149 in saddle bronc riding and team roping), bareback rider Orin Larsen (85 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Lolly Pop), team ropers Miles Kobold and Ike Folsom, and Travis Tryan and Levi Tyan (4.1 seconds each), saddle bronc rider Dusty Hausauer (86 points on Burch Rodeo’s Iron Maiden), tie-down roper Cole Robinson (8.0 seconds), barrel racer D’Ann Gehlsen (12.46 seconds) and bull rider Joseph McConnel (86 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Curley).
Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo
Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 30-Feb. 6
All-around cowboy: Kaden Deal, $149, saddle bronc riding and team roping.
Bareback riding: 1. Orin Larsen, 85 points on Sutton Rodeos' Lolly Pop, $5,534; 2. Caleb Bennett, 82.5, $4,243; 3. Clayton Biglow, 82, $3,136; 4. (tie) Colin Adams, Luke Creasy and J.R. Vezain, 80, $1,414 each; 7. (tie) Dantan Bertsch, R.C. Landingham and Wyatt Clark, 79, $430 each.
Steer wrestling: 1. Kody Woodward, 3.6 seconds, $3,996; 2. Ty Erickson, 3.9, $3,576; 3. Jason Reiss, 4.0, $3,155; 4. Tyler Schau, 4.3, $2,734; 5. Payden McIntyre, 4.4, $2,314; 6. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, Tyler Haugen and Justen Nokes, 4.6, $1,472 each; 9. Billy Bugenig, 4.7, $631; 10. (tie) Cole Edge and Clint Doll, 4.9, $105 each.
Team roping: 1. (tie) Travis Tryan/Levi Tyan and Miles Kobold/Ike Folsom, 4.1 seconds, $5,414 each; 3. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.3, $4,512; 4. Travis Bounds/J.W. Borrego, 4.5, $3,910; 5. (tie) J.D. Yates/Bobby Harris, Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, Alfred Hansen/Ryan Harris and Joel Bach/Kory Koontz, 4.9, $2,406 each; 9. (tie) Turner Harris/Ross Carson and Bobby Boyd DVM/Dennis Gatz, 5.1, $602 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Dusty Hausauer, 86 points on Burch Rodeo's Iron Maiden, $4,456; 2. JJ Elshere, 81.5, $3,416; 3. Chet Johnson, 80.5, $2,525; 4. Shorty Garrett, 80, $1,634; 5. Chase Brooks, 79, $1,040; 6. (tie) Rusty Wright and Clay Elliott, 78, $668 each; 8. (tie) Dawson Byrne, Kaden Deal and Heith DeMoss, 77, $149 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Cole Robinson, 8.0 seconds, $4,394; 2. Bradley Bynum, 8.2, $3,931; 3. (tie) Cade Swor and Jerrad Hofstetter, 8.5, $3,237 each; 5. Marshall Leonard, 8.6, $2,544; 6. Mike Johnson, 8.7, $2,081; 7. Hunter Herrin, 8.9, $1,619; 8. Clint Kindred, 9.2, $1,156; 9. Zane Blandford, 9.3, $694; 10. Timber Moore, 9.5, $231.
Barrel racing: 1. D'Ann Gehlsen, 12.46 seconds, $4,545; 2. Rylee Dick, 12.52, $3,636; 3. Ivy Conrado, 12.57, $2,954; 4. Jana Griemsman, 12.67, $2,272; 5. Jackie Ganter, 12.68, $1,818; 6. Carley Richardson, 12.69, $1,363; 7. Jean Winters, 12.74, $1,136; 8. Amanda Harris, 12.75, $1,023; 9. (tie) Sammi Bessert, Cassidy Kruse, Ashley Baur and Jana Bean, 12.80, $739 each; 13. Amber West, 12.82, $454; 14. Sherrylynn Johnson, 12.83, $341; 15. Megan Swint, 12.86, $227.
Bull riding: 1. Joseph McConnel, 86 points on Sutton Rodeos' Curley, $4,484; 2. Jeff Bertus, 83.5, $3,438; 3. Bart Miller, 82, $2,541; 4. Kanin Asay, 81.5, $1,644; 5. Kritter Lamb, 81, $1,046; 6. (tie) Shane Proctor and Parker Breding, 78, $673 each; 8. Dalan Duncan, 76.5, $448.
Total payoff: $181,186. Stock contractor: Sutton Rodeos. Sub-contractors: C5 Rodeo, Summit Pro Rodeo, Burch Rodeo and New Frontier Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Jackie Higlin. Timers: Kim Sutton and Amy Muller. Announcers: Wayne Brooks and Justin McKee. Specialty acts: Denny Halstead and Tomas Garcilazo. Bullfighters: Josh Rivinius and Colin LaMont. Clowns/barrelmen: Justin Rumford and Denny Halstead. Flankmen: Mark Cotter and Eric Jensen. Pickup men: Mike Greenleaf, Tyler Robertson and Brent Sutton. Photographers: Phill Kitts and Siri Stevens. Music director: Hambone Hilton
For complete coverage of the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo, check out the Feb. 26 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.