Meet the Member Cody Hazelton

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

“I like the adrenaline rush that it gives you when you get on, and it’s basically just concurring the beast. If you can do it, it’s the best part about it,” says bull rider Cody Hazelton. The 18-year-old from Moundridge, Kansas, is sitting third in the KHSRA bull riding standings, and working hard to make a second trip to the NHSFR this summer. Last year he finished 19th in the nation in the bull riding. “I had a lot of fun being at Nationals. A bunch of kids had 75, so we were all tied. We also went rafting and I enjoyed that, and we met a lot of people.”
Cody is the first of his family to rodeo, starting with calf riding with his friends when he was 8 or 9. “My parents figured it was just a phase and it wouldn’t stick, and it ended up sticking. My eighth-grade year we went to a Terry Don West school in Oklahoma, and after that I started going to rodeos. My freshman year in the spring, my parents wanted to know if I wanted to get into high school rodeo, and I’ve been doing that ever since,” says Cody. “I just enjoy doing it, and if you’re always going somewhere with people you like hanging out with, you’re never bored doing it. And if you’re good enough to make a living at it, then it’s perfect. This season I won Phillipsburg—it’s the first time I’ve been to Phillipsburg for a high school rodeo, and it was pretty cool to win that. Dodge City I won as a sophomore, and I enjoy that city and it’s a lot of fun to be there.”
Cody’s goal is to make a living off bull riding, and is building his career through high school rodeo and competing in open and junior rodeos, including the HYRA. He’s also gone to Texas to compete in open rodeos and get on practice bulls, and he has several bulls of his own to practice on. “I take them to Canton, Kansas, and practice at the Tom Miller Arena. Normally it’s me and another buddy, Cash Toews, who used to high school rodeo until he graduated last year. If I’m riding, it’s him fighting bulls for me, and if it’s him riding, it’s me fighting bulls. It can be entertaining or very scary, but most of our bulls are very tame. My parents, Donald and Jennifer Hazelton, have helped me out a lot, and my grandparents too,” Cody adds. “Terry Don West, who teaches the school, is the only reason I ride as good as I do because of everything I’ve learned from him. When I’m in a bad spot I go up there to one of his schools or the practice pen. He’s a great resource.”
A senior at Moundridge High School, Cody played football and is considering going out for baseball this spring. He enjoys his welding classes, which he takes at Newton High School in the morning. “I get college hours there, and after high school I can go right into the work force if I want to,” says Cody. He also enjoys deer hunting in the fall, and works at a dairy part time. “I work for Brian and Warren Kauffman, and with the early hours it is a struggle sometimes, but it teaches you how to get up in the morning, and I like being with my bosses.” Cody is also considering college rodeo, but his primary focus is finishing out his high school rodeo career this summer. “I have a good chance of making the Nationals team again this year. It’s a big goal, and I’d enjoy doing that again.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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