(Cody, Wyo.) – It seemed a little unbelievable to Christine Rodko that the Rodeo Capital of the World didn’t have a drill team performing at the town’s world-famous nightly summer rodeo
And so in 2012, she founded the Cowgirl Up Rodeo Drill Team
to represent Cody and its rodeo legacy.
They’ve performed five nights a week at the Cody Nite Rodeo for the past
four summers – as well as performing each of the four nights of the annual
Cody Stampede Rodeo – and they’ve earned their designation as Cody’s
hometown drill team.
“Last year when we performed at Stampede, they called us the hometown team,
so that was really exciting,” said Rodko, the Team Captain and fearless
leader of the Cowgirl Up Rodeo Drill team, who never misses a single rodeo
during the summer – leading her team out into the arena to perform their
routine each night.
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Rodko has 18 girls on her roster and each night includes a minimum of 6
riders. "We have quite the age range," she said. "Our youngest is 10 years
old and oldest rider is 75 years old. We also have several mother-daughter
pairs too which is really fun." Rodko noted this year is the first year
she's needed to divide the team up into three teams - A, B and C teams -
because of the varying levels within the group.
“It’s a huge commitment – our team is committed Monday through Friday June
1 to August 31 – we ride in the rodeo every night,” said Cowgirl Up rider
Bev Richard. “Christine has a heart of gold, and we all work together, and
this is our passion. That’s why we do it. We all love to ride. I love to
run my horse, I love to raise the bar and step it up and see what I can do
with him. I love our team. We have a phenomenal group of gals, from
teenagers up to our older members."
The Cowgirl Up Drill Team credits so much of their continued success to
those who have supported them – including generous community contributions
from the Park County Parks and Recreation and Shoshone Recreation District
as well as all the support from those close to these Cowgirls. We couldn’t
do it without them,” the team said.
Making dreams come true together is what the Cowgirl Up Rodeo Drill team is
all about. “If someone wants to do this, and they have the commitment and
the drive, I’ll take them from wherever they’re at, and bring them up,”
Rodko said. “For a lot of them, it’s a dream of theirs or they’ve always
wanted to do it. If they put in the effort, I match that because I can’t
stand to see anybody told they won’t be good enough or that they can’t do
it. If you want to, yes you can.”