Cory Kidd V and Lane Mitchell are heading into the ProRodeo summer run full-throttle, sitting in an unfamiliar position inside the PRCA’s top 10 for the first time at this point of the season in their careers.
Kidd, 32, from Charlotte, NC, and Mitchell, 28, from Bolivar, TN, are both ranked 7th in the PRCA world standings, with Kidd having won $35,118 in the heading, while Mitchell has $35,919 won in the heeling.
At the end of the last ProRodeo season, Kidd and Mitchell were ranked 35th and 45th in the PRCA world standings, respectively.
But for 2022, Kidd and Mitchell have a mentor who’s changed their game: Reigning world champion Kaleb Driggers, at whose Stephenville house they practice daily. With Driggers’ proven guidance, they started the new season with a new partnership and new horses.
“We’re at the same place in our lives,” Kidd said. “We’re older now. We haven’t had the success we wanted, and we were probably mad at team roping, mad at ourselves and mad at everything. So we were both practicing over at Kaleb Driggers’ house, and it just made sense. It takes two people being on the same page.”
As part of their preparation for the summer run, the team has been practicing different rodeo setups. Driggers purchases a new set of steers every week so that the team can practice every day.
“We’ll just be practicing at the house just kinda getting a feel for everything and practicing and just trying to be ready,” Kidd said. “He’s got 60 head of steers over there. He’s got Mexican steers we can practice, he’s got everything. We set the barrier up, we do everything. And so that’d be the most important part for us to do good going into the summer and probably now is just him [Kaleb Driggers].”
The team won the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up with a total of 33.71 seconds on four head, including an 8.5-second run in the final round. They were one of only three teams with a clean run, which gave them the edge to win the average. In total, they earned $7,055 each. More recently, the two tied for first at the Ellis County Livestock Show & Rodeo (Waxahachie, Texas) with a 4.3-second run, worth $1,650 each.
“It’s the preparation that has been the biggest thing for us,” Kidd said. “Most people that are rodeoing for a living are not practicing and we get to go to Kaleb’s every day. We’re using his facility, his brains, his everything. He’s been a blessing to both of us, for sure.”
Kidd will head into the summer with his A-string consisting of Scratch-Double Down Doc, a 2014 bay gelding, Primo, Mr Playgun Speck, a 2011 bay gelding, and Xanax, Playview Alamo Jr, a 2005 brown gelding.
Mitchell plans to take his No.1 on the summer run, Mr. T, Big Green Tractor, a 2017 brown gelding and Mayberry, Roan Oakie Playboy, a 2013 bay gelding, and Butters, Mamis Drift Chip, a 2016 palomino gelding for extra horsepower.
“We’re going to try to go all summer,” Kidd said. “We leave out and go to Livermore and Sisters and stuff like that. We’ll hang out for a week out there then go to Reno. Then we’ll start doing all the crazy stuff, flying and driving and doing whatever we can. We’re going to give it our best shot.”