Cody Huber clinched his fifth Great Lakes Circuit year-end championship with $29,074 won at the Circuit Finals on Nov. 9-11 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Huber has a lot going on, but two things keep him on the rodeo road: a love of the sport and a family legacy.
“I’m trying to catch my dad but I’m not sure that’s possible,” Huber, 30, joked. His father, Bill, has a pair of National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifications on his resume. He is a legend in the ProRodeo circuit system, a titan who holds 29 year-end championship titles, 22 in the tie-down roping alone. That’s a record.
It’s no surprise that the younger Huber would follow his father into the sport, picking up roping at an early age. A winner of more than a quarter million dollars in the PRCA, he went full-time for several years, finishing as high as 25th. In 2020, he took some time off to spend with his young family, focusing on his legacy business, Huber Saddle Shop & Customs, and the Great Lakes Circuit.
“I’ve got great travel partners, and we have a lot of fun rodeoing,” the Albia, Iowa resident said. “I enjoy the whole process, from starting to finishing horses, seasoning them to the rodeos. I just love to rodeo.”
After a season where Huber humbly notes he “just placed along” and won a few smaller rodeos, he went into the Circuit Finals as the leader with about a $4,000 edge over Chance Oftedahl.
“My strategy at the circuit finals was just to rope for the average and let the cards fall where they fall,” he said. “If I had the calves I’m supposed to win on, I try to plan to do that, but I wanted to get knock them all down.”
Riding his main horse Rudy, Huber was able to split second in the opening round in Louisville with a 9.3-second run. He knocked a full second off the second one, tying him up in 8.3 seconds to win second outright. A 9.4 in the final round finished out of the money, leaving Huber was third in a tight average race to earn $5,225.
“It turned out pretty good,” he said.
Huber picked up his fifth circuit title following wins in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022. He’ll compete in his fifth NFR Open next summer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Huber was the Reserve National Champ when the rodeo, then called the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR), was held in Greeley, Colorado during COVID. He had a rough trip when it returned to Colorado under the name NFR Open last summer.
“Rudy got hurt at Spooner [Wisconsin] right before the NFR Open,” Huber said of the now 17-year-old gelding he bought from a friend in Missouri four years ago. In his absence, he rode his young horse, Tigger. “I got Rudy back around the first of September.”
Not coincidentally, Huber sprinted out to his circuit lead during the final month.
In addition to good horsepower, Huber credited his hauling buddies, Luke Madsen and Jaxson Davis, for 2023’s success.
“It was really good to go with those guys,” he said. “It’s not that easy to find guys that support you and are there for you. I even rode Luke’s mare at some rodeos when mine was hurt.”
When not rodeoing, Huber stays busy with the leather shop, which started by his grandpa Kenny. There he builds awards, including the awards for the Great Lakes Circuit.
“I always helped him in the shop, but it was about seven years ago that I really started to work with it,” he said. “When I’m not roping, rodeoing or training horses, that’s where I’m at.”
Sadly, Kenny Huber passed two years ago.
“We owe him a lot, if not for him, my Dad wouldn’t have been as successful as he was nor would I,” Huber said. “He was a calf contractor for the rodeos and ropings around here . . . he loved it.”
Huber has two sons of his own, 5-year-old Leroy and 2-year-old Wacey, who will possibly carry on the family tradition of quality leather work and rodeo championships.
After rodeoing hard in 2019, 2020 and 2021, Huber said the last two years were about family and building his horse herd. In addition to Rudy, he’s brought 7-year-old Tigger along, using him for about a third of his rodeos this season.
“I wanted to get my horses lined out and so the plan is to go rodeo and try it out again,” Huber said. “Especially with the opportunity for the NFR Open next summer and some money already in the standings from the circuit finals.”
But no matter how far he goes, Huber will always keep an eye on the Great Lakes Circuit.
“It’s always my goal to win the circuit,” he said. “I look up to my dad so much and I want to try to catch him. It’s a pretty big feat but that’s the goal.”