Humble, ‘Handy’ High School Cutting Horse Champion Is All-Around Cowboy

There’s no chip on this cowboy’s shoulder.

Never any question that he knows his business, but getting him to tell you about it is like pulling teeth.

His business is “cowboy,” actually all-around cowboy, as verified most readily by his rodeo arena success. However, Calvin Coddington should readily be called “shy,” when asking him to delve into those achievements.

“I was really pleased to win the boys cutting horse division in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association this year,” said the 19-year-old Reading cowboy, son of Justin and Terry Coddington. The top young cowboy was home schooled and graduated this spring.

“You just gotta be handy,” according to Calvin Coddington, 19-year-old all-around cowboy, from Reading. Winner of the boys cutting division in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association this year. Certainly, Coddington is “handy, training horses, working cattle on Flint Hills ranches and competing in every event at rodeos, where he’s collected numerous all-around titles.
“You just gotta be handy,” according to Calvin Coddington, 19-year-old all-around cowboy, from Reading. Winner of the boys cutting division in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association this year. Certainly, Coddington is “handy, training horses, working cattle on Flint Hills ranches and competing in every event at rodeos, where he’s collected numerous all-around titles.

En route to the state high school cutting horse title, Coddington competed in 13 of 14 high school rodeos in the state last fall and this spring, qualifying to compete at the National High School Rodeo.

While most of his team mates were in Rock Springs, Wyoming, participating in that rodeo last week, Coddington was riding colts and working for Heartland Concrete Company back in Lyon County.

“This was the third year I’ve qualified for the finals, and I participated there the past two years, but I decided not to go because of the time and expense involved. If I’d qualified in team roping, too, I would have gone,” Coddington commented.

As a sophomore, the almost bashful cowboy was fourth in the state and ranked third last year. “It was a great experience competing at the finals, getting to meet all of the other kids from around the country, but it’s really a tough cutting event,” he claimed.

“There are some of the best cutting horses in the world there,” Coddington added.

However, the young cowboy feels fortunate to have the caliber of horse he’s ridden the past three seasons qualifying for the national rodeo and collecting the Kansas yearend trophy saddle and accompanying accolades.

“I’ve been riding a double bred Doc Bar sorrel stallion called Can Ya Quanah that David Lewis of Lebo willed to me. He’d been trained by Alan Wamser, and has lots of ability, but had just been doing nothing for several years until I got him,” Coddington said.

“Can Ya is 15-years-old now and really a gentleman. Most people have no idea I’m riding a stallion,” Coddington credited.

Also entering calf roping and team roping at high school rodeo events, Coddington, with Casey Hayes of Burlingame as his heading partner, concluded the year tied for fifth in high school team roping.

“We’d had a great year, but our state finals really went sour,” evaluated the cowboy, who obviously collected team roping points at many rodeos around the state this year.

“We won the average and all-around at the North Topeka High School Rodeo,” Coddington noted.

Most of his youth years were spent around Ottawa, where his parents trained horses, but the family has lived in Lyon County about five years now, moving there to work for local cattle operation.

Dad Justin Coddington is a farrier and works with Calvin training horses, while Mom Terry is employed by R Bar B Saddle Tack & Trailers northeast of Topeka, where the young cowboy has also worked on occasion. “I really enjoy leather craft, braiding, making headstalls and tying halters,” Coddington said.

His cowboy career success began when Coddington won the mutton busting at the Miami County Fair in Paola. He was the high point youth at the Kansas State Fair Mule Show in Hutchinson in 2003, the same year being yearend calf riding champion in the Christian Youth Rodeo Association (CYRA).

Topping his division of the CYRA breakaway roping in 2008, the all-around hand topped CYRA 10-13 steer riding in 2009.

“Actually one of the highlight years for me was in 2010, when I was the all-around champion in the Heartland Youth Rodeo Association. I competed in calf roping, team roping, steer stopping, steer riding and goat tying,” admitted Coddington, in a rare point of the conversation when he talked freely about personal accomplishments.

An all-around title was collected at the Lyon County 4-H Rodeo in 2012, and he matched that feat as top cowboy in his division at the Morris County Youth Rodeo in both 2012 and 2013. “I’m planning to be entered there again at Council Grove on August 2,” Coddington said.

Especially memorable to the most congenial Western athlete was last fall when Coddington and Hayes participated in the American Royal Youth Invitational Rodeo at Kansas City, winning team roping with a 5.7 seconds run.

“We had to send in resumes about ourselves in order to be invited, and then Casey and I won the team roping event. It was really an exciting time,” he verified.

When entering roping events, Coddington typically now rides a sorrel mare called Dally. “She was just a loose horse at a sale, and again I was really fortunate to find her,” he said, adding that Amigo, a Paint Horse raised by the family and trained by Calvin, had been his roping mount previously.

Ridding a 15-year-old double bred Doc Bar sorrel stallion named Can Ya Quanah, Calvin Coddington, 19-year-old all-around cowboy, from Reading won the boys cutting division in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association this year.
Ridding a 15-year-old double bred Doc Bar sorrel stallion named Can Ya Quanah, Calvin Coddington, 19-year-old all-around cowboy, from Reading won the boys cutting division in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association this year.

His cutting horse stallion is never used for roping at this point. “I don’t want to mess him up for cutting. Sometimes, it’s difficult for a top cow horse to work several events and do them all well,” evaluated Coddington, who has not entered sanctioned cutting horse events.

“I’m considering entering some Kansas Cutting Horse Association events in the future. I think Can Ya can do quite well,” he said.

“We have bred the stud to a few mares and have some colts now. I think they ought to make outstanding performance horses, too,” the cowboy predicted.

Assisting with family horse training operations, and starting young horses for Wamser Training Stables nearby, Coddington typically has a clientele waiting list. “I’ve started several horses for Herb Heine of Admire, who’s been recognized for breeding registered Quarter Horses

for more than 50 years. They’re really outstanding cow horses, too,” the young cowboy said.

“You just gotta be handy,” claimed Coddington, who is called upon regularly to assist ranchers and cattle owners in a wide area when it’s time to round-up, treat sick cattle or do regular pasture checks.

Coddington has chosen an outside fulltime profession working at Heartland Concrete. “It’s more regular hours, higher pay at set income which provides entry fees and time to compete in more rodeos,” Coddington stated.

With his high school rodeo concluded, Coddington intends to enter more jackpot roping contests as well as other association rodeos.

“I plan to compete in the United Rodeo Association in team roping and calf roping, too,” the all-around cowboy concluded.

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