Weld County cowboy wins bull riding title, $1 million purse
Kody Lostroh was driving to his La Salle home Monday afternoon from Las Vegas where he had just won the 2009 PBR World Championship – and the $1 million prize that goes with it – in front of a sold-out Thomas & Mach Center crowd Sunday.
“It feels great,” Lostroh said of his win. “I’m not sure I know how I’m supposed to feel, but it sure enough is nice.”
With his million-dollar prize for winning the world title Sunday, Lostroh finished the season with total earnings of $1,601,624 and came within 0.53 seconds from also successfully riding all eight of his bulls in the finals. But he was bucked off Voodoo Child in 7.47 seconds.
Another competitor in the finals, JB Mauney, won the last round to become the only rider ever to ride all eight bulls in the world finals.
Over the eight rounds of the World Finals, Lostroh took two consecutive round wins, according to a Professional Bull Riders Inc. press release, and split one other round win.
Lostroh, 24, driving through Utah on Monday afternoon on his way home to La Salle, said he started riding steers at the age of 7, “then I switched to bulls when I was 11.” He’s been riding bulls professionally for the past six years.
Matthew Weber is a close friend of the new champion. Weber, who teaches 6- to 12th-grade science at the Prairie School in New Raymer and is the wrestling coach at Platte Valley High School in Kersey, said he and Lostroh met while both were riding bulls in high school rodeos. Lostroh was 16 at the time.
He said he knew his friend would become a world champion.
“He has the character, mental capability and work ethic,” Weber said. “There is no one, I mean no one, who deserves to win more than Kody. He is an amazing mentor to both those younger and older than he.”
The La Salle cowboy won his first world championship despite an injury to his riding arm, his left arm, earlier this year.
“Sometime in April or May I tore up my elbow and it’s been bugging me all year. But I just put it out of my head and it held up pretty good for the finals,” he said.