story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
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Meet the Member Cody Pringle
story by Michele Toberer
Broncs that buck, have been such a big part of Cody Pringle’s existence that they may just have become imbedded in his DNA. There have not been many periods of the Hogansville, Georgia cowboy’s life, that didn’t involve trying to stay on bucking livestock, 8-seconds at a time. Cody is in his third season as the Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association’s saddle bronc riding director and has been an SPRA competitor for several years.
Although his parents, Don Pringle and Melanie Beaty were not from a rodeo background, when his stepfather, Wes Beaty entered the picture, Cody was exposed to the world of rodeo and began riding steers at 8 years old and progressed up to bulls. “My dad always had trail riding horses, but we had never rodeoed. I tried the junior rodeos when I was young, and competed in the West Georgia Junior Rodeo Association, and continued on up through high school rodeo for the state of Georgia.” While competing as a GHSRA rodeo competitor, Cody gave bareback and saddle bronc riding a try, with quite a bit of encouragement and assistance from Ben Lee of Warner Robbins, Georgia. Cody qualified for national finals every year he competed and placed 9th in the world in saddle bronc as a junior and 8th in the world his senior year at the 2008 national high school rodeo finals in Wyoming. Cody also won 5th place in saddle bronc at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 2008. Cody began focusing solely on saddle bronc riding, “I’m not a real hyped up type person, I love the saddle bronc event because it’s a lot calmer than the other events. I like that it’s more about rhythm when you ride.”
Cody’s appreciative to Robin and Josh Brooks of Southern Rodeo Company, who bucked horses at their ranch in his hometown of Rockmart and gave them the opportunity to get on lots of broncs. “I was sort of their test dummy; they’d buy new horses and I’d sometimes get on 10 broncs in a row and I remember Robin’s wife yelling from the porch ‘you’re going to kill that boy!’ It was great practice for me and helped me grow as a rider.”
Cody rode saddle broncs for Clarendon College in Clarendon, Texas for two years, as he obtained his associate degree in animal science. “it was a tough region to ride in, there were several PRCA riders in that region, and I was proud to make the short go several times during my college rodeo career.” After college, Cody and his wife Lauren were married, and he took a 5-year break from rodeo while the couple established their family and businesses. They own a salvage company and a used car lot, Deals 4 Dollars, and Wheels 4 Dollars, in La Grange, Georgia. Lauren is also an SPRA rodeo competitor, as a barrel racer, and is currently heading to the SPRA finals in 3rd place. The couple has a 7-year-old son, Canyon, who is a nerf-gun fanatic, with just a slight interest in rodeo so far.
Cody has enjoyed being a part of the SPRA as a director that the other saddle bronc riders can depend on. He’s been a part of the three of the SPRA’s rough stock schools, put on each October. “The clinics have done well, and we usually have 8 to 10 riders in each event, bareback, saddle bronc, and bulls. We also have a pick-up man school at the clinic. A lot of the guys really start going after the clinic, and I’ve made some good friends that I’m able to help mentor as well.” Cody has qualified for the SPRA finals for the 4th time and will be traveling to Mississippi for the competition soon. He was the 2017 SPRA Champion Saddle Bronc Rider and hopes to claim that title once again as he goes into the 2019 finals leading not only the saddle bronc riding, but also the all-around cowboy race. “I’m excited that Lauren and I will both be competing at the SPRA finals and glad we get to share our love for rodeo. Lauren has always been a large part of my success, pushing me and making me believe I belong in the top 15 in the world.”