PRCA For The Record: Cody Stampede
A rodeo that’s 100 years in the making, the 2019 Cody (Wyo.) Stampede is on the Cowboy Christmas list for plenty of ProRodeo athletes, but only the best leave their mark by setting a rodeo record.
Although 2019 marks its 100th anniversary, the Cody Stampede’s PRCA record book starts in 1953.
Seven-time world champion Dan Mortensen set the Cody Stampede bareback riding record with a 92-point ride in 1995.
The Billings, Mont., cowboy became the first roughstock competitor in PRCA history to surpass $2 million in career earnings. From 1990 through 2008 he won $2,555,716 with six saddle bronc riding world championships (1993-95, 1997-98 and 2003), tying the legendary Casey Tibbs for the event record. He also won the all-around world championship in 1997, edging fellow Hall of Fame inductee Joe Beaver.
Mortensen qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 16 times, the first in 1990 when he was the PRCA Rookie of the Year. The only NFR he missed in his 17 full seasons as a PRCA member came in 2004 when he broke his ankle late in the season while leading the world standings.
Mortensen was the regular-season saddle bronc riding earnings champion in 1993-94, 1997-98 and 2002. He went on to be the top money winner during Cowboy Christmas in 2004 with $26,415. In 2006, he won the second-most money over Cowboy Christmas with $21,770.
Throughout his career, Mortensen won a number of major rodeos in North America, including:
• Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo (Rapid City, S.D.): 2000
• Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days: 1998, 2006
• Cody (Wyo.) Stampede: 2006 (co-champion)
• Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo (Pocatello, Idaho): 1992 (all-around), 1994, 1997 (saddle bronc)
• Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo: 2002
• Greeley (Colo.) Stampede: 2004
• Horse Heaven Round-up (Kennewick, Wash.): 2004-05
• Livingston (Mont.) Roundup: 2006
• Molalla (Ore.) Buckeroo: 2003, 2005
• Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede: 2004 (co-champion)
• Reno (Nev.) Rodeo: 2002, 2003 (co-champion)
• Rodeo Austin (Texas): 2004
• RodeoHouston: 1998, 2002
• Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show (Fort Worth, Texas): 2000 (co-champion), 2002
• St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo: 2005
• Wrangler NFR average: 1994
An 18-foot bronze statue of Mortensen is the centerpiece of the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame outside Metra Arena in Billings. Sports Illustrated named him No. 2 on the list of Montana’s greatest sports figures of the 20th century in their Dec. 27, 1999, edition.
Mortensen was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2009 shortly after announcing his retirement in November 2008.
Cowboys had the chance to top Mortensen’s Cody Stampede record, and the rest, July 1-4, while collecting valuable ProRodeo Tour points. Fans can catch all the Cody Stampede action on ProRodeoTV.com.
Total payout: $377,723, 2007
All-around: $11,369, Trevor Brazile, 2015
Bareback riding: 91 points, Ty Breuer, 2013
Steer wrestling: 3.3 seconds, Chad Hagan, 1997
Team roping: 4.0 seconds, Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves, 2012
Saddle bronc riding: 92 points, Dan Mortensen, 1995
Tie-down roping: 7.2 seconds, Trevor Brazile, 2009; Jake Hannum, 2009
Barrel racing: 16.01 seconds, Kelly Yates, 1999
Bull riding: 94 points, Wesley Silcox, 2011