DUNCAN, Okla. –For much of his life, Cord McCoy made a living as a rodeo cowboy.
He won his first buckle at age 5, then progressed up the youth ranks into high school, then intercollegiate rodeo at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, where he was a regular qualifier to the College National Finals Rodeo.
As a young professional, he won five International Professional Rodeo Association titles, his latest in the 2003 season that saw him break earnings records. In 2005, he was one of the top bull riders in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and qualified for that year’s NFR. He followed with six qualifications to the Professional Bull Riders World Finals.
That’s why the return of PRCA rodeo to this region in May is called Cord McCoy’s Pro Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 7-Saturday, May 8, at Stephens County Arena in Duncan. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 19, and can be purchased at Crutcher’s Western Wear in Duncan or online at McCoyRodeo.com.
“Back when I was rodeoing, Duncan was always the first of May, and I made sure to enter it every year that I could,” said McCoy, who operates the Oklahoma-based livestock production firm McCoy Rodeo with his wife, Sara, and Joe Waln, a third-generation stock contractor. “It was a big deal to me to go to that rodeo. I want it to be a big deal again.”
It’s been several years since the May ProRodeo has taken place in Duncan, but McCoy wants to bring it back and is glad to have it be the opening event of the 2021 McCoy Rodeo Tour, presented by ProVantage Animal Health.
Oklahoma has always been home to the cowboy that grew up in a rodeo family in Tupelo, Oklahoma. He claimed his IPRA gold when the International Finals Rodeo took place in Oklahoma City, and one of his biggest victories in his 2005 NFR season happened in Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Rodeo in the state’s capital city.
“I’ve always had a big love for rodeo,” he said. “To turn back and be able to produce those events is even better. Over the last 20 years, we’ve had a lot of experience producing rodeos, producing events and producing bull ridings. We feel that we’ve had the years to get better at that.”
This is more than a typical rodeo. In Duncan, McCoy has enlisted the help of some of the sport’s brightest stars who also have ties to Oklahoma. That includes the specialty act of Ripley, Oklahoma-based Rider Kiesner and Bethany Isles, who were named the PRCA Dress Act of the Year in 2020, and Cody Webster of Wayne, Oklahoma, the reigning PRCA Bullfighter of the Year.
“I’ve always been taught, and I firmly believe, that if you want to be successful, you have to surround yourself with successful people,” McCoy said. “Rider, Bethany and Cody are the best, and I’m glad they’re on board for both Duncan and Atoka rodeos.”
McCoy will cross Interstate 35 for the second event of the tour, which takes place May 21-22 in Atoka, Oklahoma, a community in southeastern Oklahoma. It’s just a 12-minute drive from there to McCoy Ranch in Lane, Oklahoma.
Even before he retired from bull riding seven years ago, McCoy was raising bucking bulls and showing them at PBR events all across the country. He’s produced his own events in numerous states, and he’s seen what it takes to keep crowds coming back for more.
Now, he wants to package it all together. He’s teamed with Waln, a well-respected bucking-horse producer from South Dakota, to develop an overall rodeo firm. He wants to produce a live event for fans, but he also understands the needs of rodeo contestants. McCoy wants to outfit them with great livestock and a fun show to be part of when the time comes.
“Rodeo is an athletic competition, but it’s also entertainment,” McCoy said. “You want to put it all together and make as many people happy as possible. That’s the great thing about rodeo. It can happen; it’s something we’re going to try to do every time.”