By: Julia Dondero
The young Rienzi, Mississippi boy with big rodeo dreams would be proud to see how his career has unfolded over the years. Coming from a minimal background in rodeo, Kody Rinehart knew this passion was placed on his heart for a reason. For Rinehart, Rodeo is bigger than the buckles and titles, it is the opportunity to be a light in others’ lives and share his faith along the way. Pursuing this passion has taken the Saddle Bronc rider throughout the ranks of IPRA, PRCA, and WCRA rodeo, earning multiple titles and creating countless memories over the years.
Growing up, the future saddle bronc rider spent his days helping his father break colts and learning the rodeo ropes. Rinehart explained, “Breaking colts actually didn’t help my riding. There were a lot of bad habits I had to break” but he “always wanted to be a cowboy and has always had a true love for the Western way of life”.
In 2018, Rinehart suffered a near career-ending injury, breaking his back and neck after a ride in Cody, Wyoming. While many would have taken this adversity to heart, Rinehart knew it couldn’t keep him down.
“God put it on my heart to do this. After I broke my neck, I didn’t think I’d be here. I’m blessed to do what I love and it wouldn’t be possible without Him. I try to be a light in the rodeo world and share my faith with others everywhere I go.” explained Rinehart.
Flash forward a few years and the Mississippi cowboy is standing at the top of the IPRA Ranks, with three consecutive World Titles in hand (2020-2023). This experience propelled his confidence and motivation to jump into the professional ranks and rodeo full-time. Competing in the Southeast PRCA Circuit and beyond, the cowboy quickly realized the impact the WCRA could have on his career.
Competing in his first major WCRA event in 2021 (Rodeo Corpus Christi), Reinhart quickly set his sights on accumulating nomination points and winning the $25,000 Reliances Ranches VRQ Bonus. Winning this bonus in 2022 provided the Saddle Bronc Rider the opportunity to invest in the proper quietness to continue to elevate his game.
“Winning the VRQ Bonus was a game changer. It allowed me to purchase and renovate a new van, which has greatly aided me in traveling across the county to rodeos” said Rinehart.
This season, Rinehart has his sights set on capturing the year-end bonus again, as well as continuing his advancement on the Rodeo Carolinas leaderboards. Currently sitting in fourth place in the Rodeo Carolinas leaderboard, Rinehart has his eyes set on the coveted major win.
Looking forward to returning to the Southeast region of the country, Rinehart expressed his excitement about competing at the prestigious Tryon International Equestrian Center. “I’m looking forward to competing in North Carolina. I feel the ‘home-crowd’ advantage and can’t wait to compete on great stock at such a high level. It’s exciting to bring this level of rodeo to this region of the country.”