“You’re d… right it hurts, but we’re getting better. We’ll be ready for San Antonio.”
“No pain, no gain” takes on true meaning for Cody Scheck of Ellinwood, one of only two Kansas cowboys qualifying for the National Finals Steer Roping this year at Guthrie, Oklahoma.
“It’s been two weeks since surgery, and there’s sure enough improvement. The doctor said it’d take four months to recover, but I’m shooting for three, so I can get back competing,” insisted Scheck, placing 11th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association standings.
“I injured my shoulder a year ago, and it’d been bothering me. I had a couple of steers get up, one at Cheyenne hurt it some more, I think. I needed to have surgery as soon as the finals were over,” explained Scheck, noting that damage was repaired, yet painful recovery.
Despite his shoulder, Scheck, 33, won two rounds at the two-day, ten-round finals. His 12.1-seconds run claimed the eighth go-round, and 9.5-seconds put him on top of the ninth-go. He was fourth in the third-round.
Collecting $12,231 in his three finals checks, Scheck accumulated $40,247 in winnings this year at more than 40 professional rodeos throughout the country. That total brought his lifetime professional rodeo earnings to just under a quarter of a million.
Of course, Scheck has added checks from a number of steer roping jackpots and team roping.
Highlight of this year, and of his lifetime as a roper, according to Scheck, was setting a world record time of tying his steer in 7.7 seconds, when he won the third round at the Old Fort Days Rodeo, Fort Smith, Arkansas, on June 2. That broke the former record of 7.9 seconds set by 18-time world champion steer roper Guy Allen.
“Roping has been my lifestyle ever since I can remember. That’s what my dad, Leon, did, so I got the basics from him. He always had good horses,” credited Scheck, then of Norton.
“My first horse, a bay gelding called Smoke, was born the same year I was, and we grew up roping together. He was a good one,” acknowledged Scheck, an eighth grader when the horse was permanently injured.
“I had to sell him. I took the money to buy a pickup, and started breaking and trading horses as a source of income during high school,” related Scheck, also working at Lane County Feeders, Dighton.
Competing in team roping and calf roping at only a few high school rodeos, Scheck recalled, “The first calf I tied down would have made a funny movie.”
However, he received an academic scholarship to Pratt Community College, where he was on the rodeo team coached by this year’s world champion steer roper Rocky Patterson.
“That’s when I started learning to rope steers,” related Scheck, who took up steer wrestling then too.
“I’m big enough to bulldog, and I wouldn’t mind competing, but I can’t risk a leg injury to continue competing at this level in steer roping,” said 6-foot-2, 220-pound Scheck, leaving Pratt to attend Northwest Oklahoma State in Alva.
“I didn’t care for that, so I had an opportunity to work for professional steer roper C.A. Lauer at Buffalo, Oklahoma, which is also the hometown of former world champion steer roper Buster Record. We roped lots of steers,” appreciated Scheck, starting to rope professionally in 2004.
He was honored as the Steer Roping Rookie of the Year in 2005, when he was 14thyearend. Finishing 18th in 2006, Scheck took time off to complete his ag business degree from Alva, and went back on the rodeo trail in 2009, finishing 17th.
In 2010, Scheck moved from 12th to sixth in the final world standings, after winning the ten-head average at the National Finals Steer Roping. He came back last year to be ninth at yearend.
Always emphasizing importance of his horses, Scheck acquired his number one mount called FBI from Patterson, now his traveling partner.
The 11-year-old palomino gelding, with four socks, bald face and striking white mane and tail, was Scheck’s mount through the entire finals.
“I have a backup horse called Pendleton that I used at a few rodeos, and another young horse, but I depend on FBI,” insisted Scheck, an avid deer hunter, also enjoying “calling in coyotes.”
Working part time for area cattle operations, he added, “I’m no good, but I like to take a 12-pack and hit the little-white-ball around the golf course sometimes.”
Resting is his only duty today, but Scheck will start sweating here shortly as he goes into therapy getting his body in shape to shake out a loop within a few weeks.
“I want to rodeo as long as I can win. Of course, I’d like to be a world champion. I want to team rope more, maybe go for the all-around,” Scheck concluded.