If it’s possible to win $50,000 at the wrong time, Cody Doescher did so in 2011. The Oklahoma City heeler won Rodeo Houston that year, the first time it broke away from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and the money from the tournament-style rodeo didn’t count toward the world standings.
Though Doescher would have made his only qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2011 had the money counted, he still proudly wears the buckle representing the biggest win of his career.
“I had never run a steer with Tommy Edens before there,” Doescher remembered. “We were the first team out of the whole rodeo, and I didn’t rope very good in the first Super Series. We won just enough to get by. We made it through the semifinals, and we were first out in the Final Four. We were 6.0.”
Edens had qualified for the WNFR in 2007, but the money from Houston would have likely meant a return trip for him in 2011, too.
“It took a while to sink in,” Doescher said. “We were excited, of course, but we weren’t in disbelief—we thought we had a good chance. It gave me a lot more confidence—a lot more comfort in those situations.”
Doescher rode a sorrel mare named Fancy who was 7 when Doescher won Rodeo Houston in 2011.
“She’s done now,” Doescher lamented. “She tore her stifles at Cheyenne last year, and I just found out I won’t be able to ride her anymore. I’ll probably breed her. I had ridden her from the time she was 5, but Houston was probably her first big, big rodeo.”
The Rodeo Houston buckle will have a place on Doescher’s belt until he adds another major win to his record—and a buckle representing a go-round win at his first WNFR would probably do the trick.