Meet the Member BJ Billingsley
story by Michele Toberer Nineteen-year-old BJ Billingsley has been a member of the Arkansas Cowboys Association for four years, competing as a tie-down roper. BJ […]
story by Michele Toberer
Jonesboro, Arkansas has been home to Arkansas Cowboy Association member, Cody Reed, since 1997. That’s the year he and his parents, Steve and Amy Reed, moved from West Memphis, Arkansas when he was just 5-years-old. Cody, now 25, is a third-generation roper and grew up watching his grandfather, Vernie Reed, spinning steers for his dad until he was old enough to join in on the fun. Vernie Reed used to work cows, and raised his son in the same cowboy lifestyle that led to Steve raising his only child at the roping pen as well. Family traditions are important on both sides of the family, as Steve and Amy moved her parents’ family business, State Beauty Supply, to Jonesboro when they moved. Cody has worked with his parents, running the family business since graduating high school. He is very grateful for the flexibility his job gives his schedule, as he spends mostly Tuesday thru Thursday on the road as a beauty supply salesman, leaving Friday thru Monday dedicated to his rodeo endeavors each week.
Growing up, Cody’s good friend, and roping partner, Jace McDaniel, lived just 2-miles down the road, and Cody and his dad regularly roped there at his roping arena. Not much has changed in that department, as Cody and Jace still rope together regularly, as they have for over 13 years, and spend at least two days a week practicing together in that same arena. Cody’s dad, and Jace are both ACA members as well, so they are often all at the same rodeos. Cody heads for Jace at both ACA season rodeos and some PRCA rodeos that are scheduled in the Great Lake Circuit. Travis Holland is another heeler that Cody has roped with the past two years. “Without the two heelers I rope with, I don’t know if I’d every win, they are great to rope with.”
The horses that Cody rides, make a difference in his roping as well. He fondly reminisced about a horse from his past that made a difference to his rodeo career. Lincolnfelter was a chestnut quarter hose that he rode for 5 years, and was the horse that brought him through his high school rodeo career. Cody headed two years and heeled two years, in the Arkansas High School Rodeo Association, making nationals one of those years as well qualifying twice for the short round at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma. “You could do anything on Lincolnfelter, no matter what the set-up or scenario, he gave you the same trip every time.” It was a great loss when Lincolnfelter died Cody’s senior year, at his last high school rodeo. Today, Cody rides an 11-year-old grey Quarter Horse, called “Grey”, that he says makes roping easy. “He can run fast to the steer, or I can throw fast right out of the box, he can adapt to whatever I need on the run.”
Cody has been a member of the ACA since 2008, and currently enters team roping and calf roping. He likes the ACA because he can go to several rodeos, and even if he’s not winning regularly, it doesn’t kill his bank account. “It’s a very affordable association to rodeo in. If you’re just trying to get into rodeo, this is a great association to try.” He also appreciates being able to go to several weekly sanctioned rodeos, and that the majority of the ACA rodeos are in close proximity.
Cody is very thankful for his family, and looks up to his dad as a great motivator. He appreciates both of his parents’ support, and that they always want to see him have opportunities to do his best. “When things aren’t going as well, or I have a time that I’m just not performing like I should, if I ever get down, they are always there to boost me back up and push me to keep going.”
Besides roping, Cody can often be found on the golf course, or out hunting. But most often, he is working on improving his roping skills as he works towards his goal of making both the PRCA Great Lakes Circuit Finals, and the ACA Finals this year.
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