Meet the Member Zoey Cline
story by Lindsay Humphrey No stranger to junior high nationals, Zoey Cline from Corona, New Mexico, is optimistic she can make a third appearance on […]
story by Lindsay King
Following in the footsteps of both his dad Robert and brother Caleb, 15, Cade Griego is an accomplished bull rider with an affinity for sticking it to anything that will buck. His next goal is to break into riding bareback horses just like his dad. “I have been riding since I was maybe four. My dad showed my brother and I what to do and I fell in love with it from the get go,” said the 14-year-old. He’s jumped on a spur board to get a feel for riding bareback horses but is excited to give the real thing a go this year. Living near and competing in the Navajo Nation reservation gave Cade an exceptional rodeo role model. “We have known Cody Jesus since he first started getting on bulls. We have watched him grow into one of the best bull riders in the world.” Robert even used to pull his bull rope back in the day.
Sage Kimsey is a cowboy Cade tries to emulate through his riding style, but it’s Cody Jesus’ work ethic he likes best. “Cody started when he was 15 and he’s only 22 now, so he has an outstanding work ethic and is always willing to practice. Sage works hard too and has phenomenal riding form.” However, Robert and Caleb are the boots on the ground day in and out, something that has not gone unnoticed by Cade.
On the road as a family basically every weekend takes the Griego’s to more than 30 events in at least five states every year. But so far Cade’s favorite was in Vegas last year at the YBR world finals Championship Challenge. “Junior high nationals was a lot of fun, but competing at a brand new event in Vegas was better. I was fortunate enough to win against the top bull riders in the world in my age group.” Aside from going back to Vegas to compete in the Thomas and Mack for the first time, Cody is looking forward to riding in Calgary some day. The history and prestige are just a few of the draws for him. “I want to go into the PBR one day. Maybe start small and hit some CBRs, win the NFR twice if I can. And then retire around 35.”
After his projected 20-year bull riding career, Cade aspires to become a nuclear physicist or a mechanical engineer. “It seems like fun to work with radioactive stuff and my uncle is a mechanical engineer so I might do that also.” The multi-talented athlete is also an asset for Edgewood Middle School where he plays football, basketball and runs track. Though rodeo is his favorite sport, basketball is a close second. “I am just better at basketball than the other two sports. But this year we broke a school record in track, that was fun too.” Hunting also occupies his time. Cade likes to make jerky from the game he brings home. “I have always thought about buying a meat slicer to sell jerky. But you need a permit for that so it was a no go.” He also traps coyotes and bobcats in the winter to sell their fur.
Every time Cody climbs on a bull, he is thinking about his ultimate goal: winning the PBR as a rookie, something no one has ever done. His mental game is strong and work ethic is unmatched. “You have to stay loose but aggressive when you ride a bull. If you tense up you will sit on your pockets and get behind. You need the mentality that you will spur him down but stay loose at the same time so you can dance with him.” This strategy helped Cody take second at the state finals this year and sent him to nationals. “I covered my bull in the first round and ended up 11th. But I started playing with the numbers to see what I needed to make it to the short go. I should’ve been able to cover my second bull but I made a wrong move and he went left and I went right.” He’s coming back with the goal of topping Travis Wimberly at state and making better rides at nationals next summer before he starts high school rodeo. He is also excited to ribbon rope with his best friend Evann Segura.
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