Cowboys and cowgirls must work rain or shine and rodeo is no different. One rainy weekend in Price, Utah, a young cowboy had to duct tape his boots on so they would not be sucked off in the mud. All the contestants were soaked and muddy and that memory is one of Kody Russell’s favorites.
The youngest of three children, Kody, is the son of Kelly and Celeste Russell. He is 13 years old and in the eighth grade. This creative and funny young man is a student at the Leadership of Academy of Utah where math is his favorite subject because it is, “just easy.” Kody lives in Avon, Utah, which is literally between Paradise and Eden.
Rodeo is a family activity for Kody. His older brother and older sister both rodeo and his dad is a team roper. He is a member of the Utah Jr. High School Rodeo Association on the Wasatch Jr. High School Rodeo Team. He also rodeos as a member of the Legacy Junior Rodeo Association. He competes in goat tying, breakaway and team roping. When asked what his favorite event is, he said, “My favorite event is team roping because that has just been fun for me.”
This all-around cowboy rode bulls for three years along with the other events. This past summer he was hurt while practicing and broke his collarbone. He said that challenge was hard because it kept him from competing and roping for a time. He has decided to retire from bulls so he can focus on the event he loves most, team roping.
It was no surprise to me when I asked Kody what his favorite color was and he said purple. A color of champions is fitting as this young man shared with me his greatest accomplishment so far in the sport of rodeo. Kody was the Reserve All-Around Champion in the Legacy Junior Rodeo Association in 2018 and the All-Around Champion in the same organization in 2019.
Rodeo is the main, but not only, activity Kody enjoys. He loves to hang out with friends and play football and baseball at the rodeos. He did inform me that as much as he enjoys those activities, he does not want to do it as a sport or be on an actual team. And Kody loves to fish, a lot!
Kody’s horse is named Jenny and out of the many horses and six dogs he shares his life with she is his favorite. He attributes that to the fact that Jenny was a member of the family before Kody was even born. Kody loves any dessert and is always fun and entertaining to be around. He told me that he looks up to his dad because he is always so helpful. He borrows his life mantra from his dad, “It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
This young man’s dreams for the future are just what you would expect from a teenager on the rodeo trail. He would love to have a huge house and an arena so he could go rope all day long. To know Kody is to love him, and those that do are lucky.