The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus The Daily Herald on Linked In HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Pros ride bulls for love, maybe money

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY
By Theresa Goffredo
Herald Writer
Every time Cord McCoy gets on a bull, holding on to the 2,000-pound bruiser with just his left hand for an 8-second hell ride, he considers it a blessing.
It's a blessing because in 2004, McCoy was kicked in the head by a horse so badly that he was put into an induced coma to help his brain heal. He then had to relearn certain skills, such as talking.
And riding bulls.
"I was definitely blessed just to live through it. It was determination and the thought of never giving up," McCoy said. "Every time I get on a bull I think to myself, 'I get one more.'"
Because of his return to riding from his life-threatening injury, McCoy will be a crowd favorite when the Professional Bull Riders Lucas Oil Touring Pro Division tour opens Friday night at Comcast Arena.
The tour means big prize money to these cowboys. Retired rider Justin McBride has earned $5.5 million, the most of any Western-sports athlete in history.
McCoy has earned $426,000 during his riding career. But really that's just a drop in the bucket compared to what most professional athletes make.
So it's more than the money.
"You gotta love the sport," said McCoy during a phone interview. "With the injuries and being gone from home, you better love the sport."
A sport McCoy described as -- understatement alert -- dangerous.
"You never know if it might be your last ride," McCoy, 31, said. "Lord willing, I will ride for five more years."
That danger and uncertainty is what drives the fans to these bull-riding events.
"It's so unrehearsed," McCoy said. "It's an 1,800-pound animal and you don't know what's going to happen. I've done it my whole life and I don't know what's going to happen.
"The fans come to an event to watch somebody conquer a bull. You don't have to grow up in the country to realize the skill in that."
When a bull rider is judged during a competition, the judges are looking for technique, style and class in the riders: How good the rider made it look and how hard the bull bucked.
Remember these bulls are bred to buck, whether they are named "Huckleberry" or "Splatter."
This touring pro division features some of the top bull riders from Washington, Oregon and around the country. Riders attempt to stay on the bull for an eight seconds and can use only one hand. The goal is to score points in the 80s or 90s.
The Lucas Oil Touring Pro Division is the gateway for cowboys striving to compete on the elite nationally televised Built Ford Tough Series, which is comprised of the Top 35 bull riders in the world, according to press material.
McCoy has appeared on the CBS program, "The Amazing Race." He is from Tupelo, Okla., and, among his many competitions, last year finished 11th at the Built Ford Tough World Finals, riding three of six bulls and winning $33,000.
McCoy was an International Pro Rodeo Association All-Around Champion in 2002 and 2003.
"Cord" is McCoy's real name. He was born with yellow jaundice and was hooked up "by a cord" to a machine in the hospital and that's where his name comes from.
McCoy said he's feeling 100 percent for the Everett event.
"If you never watched a professional bull rider event, I so suggest coming to this," McCoy said. "It's going to be an experience that you never forget."
Professional Bull Riders Lucas Oil Touring Pro Division tour is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett.
Tickets are $13, $23 and $39. Go to or call 866-332-8499. Groups call 425-322-2609 for discount tickets.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;
Story tags » Entertainment (general)Family funEverettMen's Sports

More Entertainment Headlines


Weekend to-do list

Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend