Ridin Solo

Bucking Bulls and Unbreakable Bonds: An Interview with Stock Contractor Cord McCoy

Cord McCoy, renowned bull rider and stock contractor, shares with us his journey in the rodeo world and the extraordinary bond he shares with his star bull, Ridin Solo. Discover what it takes to manage top-quality bucking bulls year after year.

In the world where the sound of bucking chutes echoes and the spirit of rodeo ignites, one name stands tall: Cord McCoy. The renowned bull rider and esteemed stock contractor has left an indelible mark on the rodeo world – and still has dreams that lie ahead.

Cord McCoy's rodeo roots run deep. Born into a rodeo family in Southeast, Oklahoma, Cord grew up competing in junior rodeos across the country. His exceptional talent and passion for bull riding earned him a full scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma University Team, where he competed on the rodeo team. After graduating, Cord went straight into the professional rodeo world, establishing himself as a remarkable bull rider. His journey didn’t stop there, as he later transitioned into the role of a dedicated stock contractor committed to raising top-tier bucking bulls.

Getting on a bucking bull is daunting, but Cord's daring spirit knows no bounds.

In the midst of his rodeo endeavors, he also embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure as a contestant on season 16 of “The Amazing Race,” alongside his brother Jet McCoy. This popular reality television show tests participants' physical and mental abilities as they navigate through challenging tasks and compete against other teams while traveling across the globe. Cord's fearless nature was on full display, and he took home the 2nd-place title. His adventurous spirit not only captivated viewers worldwide, but also confirmed what those in the rodeo world already knew: Cord is fearless, no matter the challenge.

While his accomplishments as a bull rider are impressive, his career as stock contractor is equally noteworthy. This year, his bull Ridin Solo secured the title of PBR Bucking Bull of the year for the second consecutive year.

Initially, he began raising bucking bulls to train and practice on. As the bulls surpassed his own riding skills, the training arena became the spotlight for these exceptional animals, and he transitioned into the role of a dedicated stock contractor. While the idea of managing bulls may seem far from the average day-to-day for many, Cord offers a different perspective.

"A stock contractor is really a manager,” he said. “I’m in charge of the stock roster, the nutrition, housing, when and where they perform, and health and care. It’s pretty much like being a parent and being the animal's voice."

But raising top-quality bucking bulls doesn’t come without a unique set of challenges.

"Just because your sire is a World Champion doesn't mean you will be as a bull rider,” he said. “Each bull has his own experiences and desires, and there is nothing you can do to make them buck."

To Cord, Ridin Solo (more affectionately known as Solo) is more than just a bull; he is a trusted companion, a formidable athlete, and a true partner in their stock contracting endeavors.

"Solo is one-of-a-kind. I've never seen another bull with such a soft heart, yet still loves what he does so much. He knows how to turn the performance switch on and off. My wife Sara gives him baths all the time, and his pen is right outside our kitchen window."

Cord is quick to highlight the intelligence and athleticism of Ridin Solo -- and bulls in general.

"Just think – a bull is an 1,800-pound animal who can feel a fly on their back and hit it with their tail. They know where the riders are and which way they are leaning. Bulls learn how to build momentum, how to throw fakes, direction changes, and at the end they know when they win. Solo's best outs ever came from after being rode -- he rode to another level."

If you’re attending a rodeo for the first time, Cord offers a piece of advice for spectators to consider: “Bulls are athletes. They know what they are doing, and they are not just wild animals."

Ridin Solo is an exceptional athlete indeed. As a 2-year-old, he became a World Champion, and at just 3 years old, he made it to the PBR World Finals. The way Cord put it, that’s comparable to LeBron James going straight from high school to the NBA. Today, Ridin Solo has his own legacy in the rodeo arena, having earned two consecutive titles as the PBR Bucking Bull of the Year.

"It was an honor because we know Solo put the work in. It was tough -- lots of miles, matching up against the best guys in the world week after week. We were ready to slow down whenever Solo wanted to, but every week he trotted to the trailer ready to go again. We made sure wherever he went he had several bags of fresh shavings so he could get lots of rest traveling and between events."

A typical competition day for Ridin Solo looks something like this:

"First thing in the morning, Solo gets a 1/2 ration on feed, a small leaf of hay, then walked to check and make sure his health is 100%. Once I put his halter on, he knows it's game day. Then, I always say a little prayer, never same prayer, because I don't like to be predictable. Every time I ride or ride one of our bulls or another contractor’s bulls, we say a prayer for our opponents, for our safety, for the crowd’s safety, and the well-being of the stock. I know I can't win unless the stock bucks."

As Cord reflects on his future aspirations as a stock contractor, he shares the goal to achieve more accolades like Bucking Bull of the Year and Stock Contractor of the Year. With his unwavering determination and commitment to his career as a stock contractor, it’s safe to say that Cord is positioned to earn more of these illustrious titles.

Cord's journey alongside Ridin Solo exemplifies the passion and dedication that fuel the rodeo world. Like Cord, we embrace the same spirit relentless pursuit and a love for the Western lifestyle. Discover Ariat's collection of high-performance boots and apparel, crafted to empower individuals who dare to chase their dreams -- both in and out of the rodeo arena.