story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Cody Shurtz
story by Lily Weinacht
Cody Shurtz of Vail, Arizona, won the GCPRA’s 6-Pack Series in the open tie-down roping this season, sending the cowboy home with enough winnings to put him 12th in the overall standings and on his way to the GCPRA finals. The 28-year-old last competed in the finals in 2015, the year he won the year-end and average titles in the incentive tie-down roping. “I had the best weekend of my life and ended up splitting the first round and I won the second round, and that shot me to the top,” says Cody. After that, however, he had to move to the open tie-down roping, a transition he has slowly but surely worked through over the last three years, ending with his second qualification to the GCPRA finals.
“The GCPRA has been a pretty great association to learn and start from. I have four to five guys I rodeo with in the Grand Canyon that have PRCA cards, so it’s been quite the challenge to work to conquer those guys. With V Heart Rodeo Company run by Cody Resor, all his events are run very professionally, and it’s always good to see a lot of the rodeos we go to with his name on the paper.” Along with tie-down roping, Cody competes in team roping occasionally, but prefers the individuality and athleticism of tie-down. “There’s more going on—once you’ve roped the calf, that’s only half the job done. Then you have to get off and start all over again. It’s a lot more involved keeping a horse tuned up on the calf roping side, so it’s a little more work, but a little more rewarding.”
Cody started roping in high school when some of his neighbors invited him to come rope with them, and today, showing his children the rodeo lifestyle drives him as much as his love for the sport. “I’m a single dad of a 5-year-old girl, Alice, and a 3-year-old boy, Hayton, and I take them to all my rodeos. I want to tell them when they start rodeoing that you get out exactly what you put in, and it’s not going to be easy, but when you do put in that work and effort, it starts to show and you make it where you want to be,” says Cody. “I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it weren’t for my parents, Rudy and Donna. Luke Jeffries is a good friend of mine, and between the open and incentive, he’s helped me get quicker with things. My best bud, Mike Tabeling, bought a house across from me, and he just bought his Grand Canyon card and comes out and helps me when he can.”
A full-time farrier, Cody packs his children into the truck where they sleep through half of his horses, and by noon, they’re back home and ready to saddle horses for roping. Cody practices in his roping lane at home, and his daughter, Alice, already loves to open chutes and help untie calves. Cody’s 12-year-old mare, Big Mama, was his main mount this season, and he also ropes off of Push, a 5-year-old gelding he purchased at the beginning of the year. He also ropes on both horses on the PRCA Turquoise Circuit since he recently purchased his permit. “It’s a long shot, but I would really like to knock on the door, if not clinch a Rookie of the Year title,” says Cody. “I’ll probably just circuit rodeo in Arizona and New Mexico since I have both the kids. I plan to keep taking young horses to the Grand Canyon rodeos around here, and keep going to pro rodeos.”