ATOKA, Okla. – Atoka County has a rich rodeo tradition and has been home to some of the greatest cowboys to have ever competed.
Cord McCoy is one of them. He and his family live in nearby Lane, Oklahoma, and he is proud to live in a county that has been home to PRCA world champions like John McEntire, Clark McEntire, Lane Frost and Tyler Pearson.
More importantly, he’s excited to bring the PRCA to this part of the world for the Atoka Pro Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 21-Saturday, May 22, at the Atoka Trail Riders Arena. It’s the second event on the 2021 McCoy Rodeo Tour, presented by ProVantage Animal Health. The Atoka County Chamber of Commerce is considering other events to coincide with the rodeo. For more information, contact the chamber office.
“This one here is special,” said McCoy, now in his first year as a ProRodeo stock contractor. “This is my hometown rodeo, and it means a lot to me and my wife that we are able to bring the PRCA to Atoka. When you look at the legends that are from right here in Atoka County, this is where ProRodeo should be.”
McCoy never claimed PRCA’s gold buckle, but he owns five of them from Oklahoma City-based IPRA. He qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 2005, then followed that with six qualifications to the PBR World Finals. Even before he hung up his spurs, he’d begun raising bulls and having them at PBR events all across the country.
Now he wants to add to that legacy – and that legacy of Atoka County – by having locally raised animals buck at the NFR and the PBR World Finals.
“Rodeo and the Western way of life is all I’ve really ever known,” he said. “My daddy was a cowboy, and my momma rodeoed. My momma’s family goes generations deep here in Atoka County. They got together and raised four cowboys and one cowgirl, and now they’ve got a bunch of grandkids that all are part of the Western lifestyle.
“Rodeo is just part of life for us, and I’m excited about this adventure.”
He’s also reaching out to other rodeo veterans in bullfighter Cody Webster of Wayne, Oklahoma, and the specialty act of Rider Kiesner and Bethany Isles of Ripley, Oklahoma. Kiesner and Isles won the PRCA Dress Act of the Year in 2020, and Webster was named the association’s top bullfighter last year.
McCoy also expecting hundreds of contestants with ties to Oklahoma, including cowboys like Pearson, the 2017 steer wrestling world champion who sits fourth in the world standings. Pearson still claims Louisville, Mississippi, as home, but he’s lived in Atoka with his family for a few years.
“I think something a lot of people don’t realize is that the dollars won at the Atoka Pro Rodeo will count for the world standings and those trying to make the NFR,” McCoy said. “This could be a big stop for them.”
Atoka is a big stop for many, and that includes McCoy Rodeo.