Meet the Member Keyton Wright
story by Siri Stevens Keyton Wright, from Nephi, Utah, took a quick trip (18 hours) to the Fort Worth Stockyards to show in the National […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Roper and barrel racer Codi McPherson is leading the breakaway roping in the RMPRA, and looking to clinch the year-end title that proved elusive last year when she finished reserve champion. The 23-year-old from West Warren, Utah, was also $4 shy of winning the all-around last year, but still finished reserve all-around champion even though her barrel horse was injured and couldn’t compete at the finals. “It’s sheer love for rodeo. When you grow up doing it, you just crave it,” says Codi of her drive for the sport. “I like that you rodeo with the same people in the RMPRA, and you’re comfortable with everybody. The stock contractors always provide really nice stock and make it fair, and the payout is definitely worth it.”
Codi started competing in the RMPRA her senior year of high school, the same year she competed at the NHSFR and the Silver State International Rodeo in goat tying and breakaway roping. As the second generation of her family to rodeo, she started junior rodeoing at a young age before high school rodeoing for Utah. After graduating high school, she married her husband, Ben McPherson, a bull rider turned team roper. Once their first son was born, Codi returned to the RMPRA. “I couldn’t do it without one of my best friends and my traveling partner, Jessie Brinkerhoff,” says Codi. “We’ve traveled together all through the RMPRA rodeos and high school, and she’s like my motivation. When I have a bad weekend, she reminds me that we’re out here doing this for fun. My husband runs chutes for me seven days a week when we’re not at rodeos, and my dad, Jake, helps a lot with feeding my horses. He and I team rope together when we go to jackpots. I head and he heels.”
Codi and Ben also team rope together at jackpots, and they make their home on eight acres near West Warren with their two sons, Rhett, 3, and Teague, 4 months. “Rhett is set on being a bull rider, but he’s only three, so he rides my breakaway calves,” says Codi. She and Ben have 10 horses and run 50 head of cattle, while Ben, her dad, and her grandpa, raise beef cattle. Codi rides her 11-year-old gelding, Doc, in the breakaway roping, and heads on another gelding, Jasper, while her mare, Sally, will be ready to barrel race on again next year. “Breakaway roping is definitely my favorite, and that’s because the horse I’m riding now is one that we bought as a two-year-old. My dad and I broke and trained him ourselves, and he’s been the best one I’ve ever had. He’s really calm, and he’s good in any kind of set up. Anybody can get on him and rope.” Codi won the breakaway roping on Doc at the Bluffdale Old West Days this summer, a rodeo dedicated to Scotty Baker, who was a good friend of Ben’s.
Along with raising her family, Codi works for the Weber County School District, where she’s been in charge of the high school testing the last four years. “With my family, if we’re not rodeoing, usually we’re at a ball game playing softball, or watching my sister, who plays for the high school. We also like to go fishing,” says Codi. “I would like to end up winning the (RMPRA) year-end in breakaway, and when my barrel horse is back, I’d like to win the all-around. I’d like to get that accomplished before my kids are bigger, so when they’re old enough and ready to go to rodeos, I can focus on them.”
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