by Madelaine Mills
Brody Cress was born and raised in the Cowboy State of Wyoming. His father is the assistant principle at Cheyenne East High School, where Brody was a wrestling standout. In fact, he won state titles the last three years of high school.
He could have gone to college on a wrestling scholarship, but chose rodeo instead. He won the saddle bronc riding in his home state twice to go to the National High School Finals Rodeo.
It was never a question of whether he would continue his education. He traveled to Stephenville, Texas, and started at Tarleton where he qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) twice, most recently in June of 2017.
At that time, he was outside the top 20 in the PRCA world standings. He got some momentum going in his home state at the CNFR. Brody finished third in the nation. What happened next was history in the making.
He won the California Rodeo Salinas, then came home and won the “Daddy of ‘em All,” Cheyenne Frontier Days. Without the pressure of school, he was hot on the rodeo trail.
In September, he won another legendary rodeo, the Pendleton Roundup, in Oregon. He started his first NFR in sixth place with $105,665 in regular season earnings. With his first trip to the Thomas & Mack Arena, he had to juggle the high stakes of rodeo and his college finals which determined his graduation.
On December 16, 2017 after his first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), Cress walked away as the WNFR champion with 841.5 points on ten head. He was the first Wyoming cowboy to accomplish this feat since Cody, Wyoming’s Enoch Walker in 1960. He finished second in the world behind Ryder Wright by a mere $2,652 after earning $176,621 in Las Vegas.
That same night, he missed the opportunity to walk at his graduation ceremony but accomplished his goal of getting his bachelor’s degree in ag business.
One on One with the Wrangler NFR Contestant – Brody Cress
Favorite movie: 8 Seconds – hands down, it is my favorite movie. I grew up watching that movie. It’s just awesome. I don’t think I have a copy of it, but every time I get the chance to watch it, I’ll dang sure sit down and watch it.
Favorite current TV show: I really like The Office. I think I’ve watched it two times now.
What Super Power would you want to have: I’d go with invisibility, so then I could go around doing stuff without people seeing it. I might get in a little bit of trouble with that one.
Favorite dessert: I like cheesecake a lot. You just can’t go wrong with cheesecake.
Favorite card or board game: We’ve been playing Cards Against Humanity lately and that’s a fun one. You never know what’s going to come out of that and you learn a lot about people and how their mind works with that game.
If you weren’t in rodeo, what would you be doing: I’ve wrestled since I was six years old until I went to college. I almost chose that path instead of rodeo, so if I wasn’t rodeoing, I would be doing that. I owe so much to that sport and learned a bunch from it.
Favorite sport, other than rodeo: Rodeo and wrestling go hand in hand with the mental aspect of it all. It’s a challenge to rodeo. There’s a lot of ups and downs and it’s the same way with wrestling. I would have to cut a bunch of weight and then you’re out there relying on yourself too. It’s the same way with rodeo. When you’re in the middle of that horse for eight seconds, there’s nobody that can help you.
Best childhood memory: I remember winning my first rodeo in the mutton bustin’.
Favorite thing you like about Las Vegas: The thrill of getting to ride out of the golden bucking chutes. It’s an amazing feeling with the atmosphere and the people, while getting on the best horses in the world.
What was the mindset coming into Vegas: I just tried to keep it simple and do the same thing I’ve done all year. Obviously, it’s not just another rodeo, but you still have to look at it like that in order to break it down and do what you’ve practiced all year. If I can’t come here and do the same thing I’ve been doing all year, then I’m not going to be successful.
Dream draw: It would be the bucking horse of the year, Wound Up from Beutler & Son Rodeo. I’ve seen her a couple times this year and she’s been absolutely outstanding. I would love to put my saddle on her.
What belt buckle do you wear and why: I wear the Salinas buckle because it reminds me of a Gold buckle, which I hope to be putting on next. That was the first big rodeo I won this year and I put it on my belt. It hasn’t come off since.
What would people be surprised to learn about you: A few of my friends wanted us to go on the roller coaster at the New York-New York. I absolutely hate carnivals. People say, “Well, you get on a bucking horse, why don’t you like that stuff?” I hate it. I hate carnival rides.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young rodeo competitor, what would it be: Never take advantage of your support system and show appreciation. There’s so many people who have helped me get to this point and without them I dang sure couldn’t be here. Tell people thank you that help you, even if it’s for the littlest things. Dang sure make sure you always thank people, no matter what they are helping you with. They are going to help you get somewhere.
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