Meet the Member Ryan Bestol
story by Lindsay Humphrey “I’m not much of a planner,” said Ryan Bestol of his storied rodeo career so far. “When I get something in […]
story by Lindsay King
Close to home, Lexington, Nebraska, is where all of Cody Rieker’s best memories are made. The NSRA and M-SRA calf roper and sometimes header grew up ranching and roping. It was all he had time for. “My dad rode bulls for 20 plus years and passed the sport of rodeo on to us. We started riding sheep and calves, then we started roping.” Just by working on the ranch and roping, Cody and his brother, Tyrel, decided they wanted to rodeo. “We probably started roping and riding when we were three. I just liked it and have not quit. Our parents have always been helpful, taking us to rodeos when we were little.”
In both high school and college rodeo, Cody also bull dogged. An independent cowboy, Cody likes being responsible for mistakes in a run rather than relying on someone else. “I just try and have fun, act like it is another calf in the practice pen. I don’t worry about the calf I draw, I do the basics and rope the best I can on every one of them.” A member of the NSRA since high school, Cody only drives a few hours for rodeos. “Most rodeos are no more than two hours from my doorstep, that is why I bought my card in the first place.”
One summer, Cody went to work for Roger Kraus. “He taught me a lot about roping calves because he won a lot of saddles in the M-SRA. He was one of my biggest helpers, aside from my dad who always kept me on good horses, roping solid cattle.” A 2015 Colby Community College graduate with a degree in farm and ranch management, Cody met his wife Elle in an animal science class. “She is pretty awesome to put it simply. She is starting to breakaway rope and I am hoping to get her to compete at a few more rodeos than she did last summer.” Cody and Elle are the proud parents of Reatta Ann, born April 30.
The last three years, Cody has appeared at the NSRA finals and spent the last two at the M-SRA finals.
“I am actually a director for the men’s timed events and calf roping. It has always been good, everyone is always super nice. All the rodeos that NSRA co-sanctions are some of the best in the state. All the members and directors are good people and the stock is great.” After buying his PRCA permit this spring, Cody is working to make the KPRA finals just like he did two years ago. “I will probably just go to a few close rodeos in Nebraska and see how the PRCA treats me. My goal in the next few years is to get my card and go to some of the bigger rodeos: Cheyenne, Pendleton, not rodeo real hard but hit the neat ones.”
Unafraid to be a little biased, Cody’s favorite rodeo is in his hometown. The rodeo he grew up watching and competing at. “I would also say Eddyville. My dad was the president of the rodeo club there for over 30 years. They had their final rodeo just last year.” To put it simply, Cody just likes roping. Luckily, his career choice adheres to the activity daily. “Dad and I still have cows together. I work for the Walking C Cattle Company since we don’t quite have enough cows yet to satisfy two families.”
A love for roping, rodeo family and the rush, this year Cody is working towards sharing the stage at the NSRA finals with his traveling partner, Patrick Martin. “He won the saddle last year, but hopefully we can come out as the top two this year.” Over the fourth, his summer took a turn as Cody’s good horse pulled up lame. “It killed my summer, because I did not have another horse ready to go. I got the B-team horse out and now he is ready to go. I have two good horses ready for the summer and it should be a great season.”
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