Cody Tew and Coy Brittain had been roping leading into the $500,000 Rodeo Corpus Christi (RCC) stop on the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) Triple Crown of Rodeo event…just not with each other. Nor on the same ends that they did during the preliminary rounds of held on May 9, 2022, at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown.
“I head most of the time but I was hauling some heel horses, getting them seasoned, and I qualified to Corpus Christi last year, which got me to Salt Lake City. That got me to Fort Worth at Christmas, which got me back to Corpus,” Brittain charted his tour of the WCRA’s major events in 2021. Brittain has been heading so much that he didn’t even have a horse to ride and had to borrow his regular partner Whit Kitchens’ heel horse for RCC.
“I’ve headed my whole life but I’ve been working on heeling the last few months and haven’t headed as much,” Tew said.
“I always thought Coy was underrated as a heeler,” he noted. “But we were joking coming down here, making fun of each other working the other end and laughing about, what if we won it?”
The pair, who call Lipan and Tolar, Texas home, respectively, took a big step towards an RCC title when they beat out 37 other top teams to win the Qualifying Round and advance to the Progressive Rounds.
Only 24 teams from the Qualifier, along with the #2-#4 seeds on the WCRA Leaderboard, will compete inside the American Bank Center right on the shoreline in Corpus during the first three performances on May 11-13.
“Knowing they take 24 back to the perfs, we were thinking, just knock two down,” Brittain said.
“We knew lots of teams were trying to lay up and just make it back to the perfs but I really wanted to be aggressive,” Tew admitted. “The rounds pay good so I was thinking, if we get a chance, we owe it to ourselves to try to win some of that money.”
Both men said their draws on Monday afternoon played a big role in their success.
“We drew two great steers,” Brittain said. “My header did a great job and it just happened that we won it.”
Tew and Brittain stopped the clock at 5.54 seconds in round one to pick up a fourth place check. Their 6.01 in round two didn’t place but with 11.55 on two steers, they won the average by three tenths and earned $2,430 apiece for the day.
“I really enjoy the WCRA,” Brittain said. “I nominated some events last year to get into Corpus and I just kept getting enough points each time heeling to keep going.”
“They keep you informed of everything, send lots of texts with the draw and all the info you need. It’s nice knowing where you need to be . . . they make it so easy,” he continued. “The steers are always good, they pay really well and we always like roping for no entry fees.”
Tew got interested in the WCRA after watching his sister, breakaway roper Cadee Williams, rope for $50,000 at Salt Lake City one year.
“They allow you to pick and choose your nominations. I like that you have a chance to go win a considerable amount of cash and you don’t have to be gone all the time,” Tew stated. “I’m working around the house and I don’t want to be gone a month at a time.”
Tew was riding his good bay horse Slim, who also carried Brock Hansen to the next rounds in Corpus.
“I bought him from Tyler Wade, three or four years ago and made the short go at the first rodeo I rode him at, which was Reno,” Tew said. “He just gives me his best every time.”
All the remaining rounds are sudden death with the two fastest from each performance advancing towards the Showdown Round on Saturday night where they’re joined by the #1 seed on the WCRA Leaderboard. The top three from the Showdown Round advance to the Triple Crown Round (TCR), held right after the Showdown Round on Saturday.
The winners of the TCR will earn $15,000 each along with the signature Rodeo Corpus Christi surfboard given to the champions.
“It’s really cool that they give away something different like that,” Brittain said. “We’ve got tons of buckles and saddles, which is cool too, but there aren’t a whole lot of chances out there to win a surfboard at a rodeo.”
The key, according to both guys, is a good draw. Tew also notes finding the right balance between going for it and being smart is crucial.
“We definitely drew at the better end of the steers today so hopefully we’ll draw right. We’ll try to be aggressive as we need to be because sometimes when you’re too conservative, that’s when you mess up,” he said. “I just need to do what I did today and give my partner the opportunity so we can win something.”
Rodeo Corpus Christi Qualifying Results
Division Youth (DY) Inventive
- Conley Kleinhans/Bray Fenogilio, 14.86 seconds on two head, $2,500 each
- Blaine Burleson/Bronc Kothmann, 16.71 seconds, $1,000
- Joe Mattern/ Trey Johnson, 4.41 seconds, $1,600 each
- Casey Hicks/Stitches Stanley, 5.45 seconds, $1,200
- Brock Hansen/Truman Magnus, 5.46 seconds, $800
- Cody Tew/Coy Brittain, 5.54 seconds, $400
- Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 4.95 seconds, $1,600 each
- Wyatt Bray/Jace Helton, 5.31 seconds, $1,200
- Bobby Mote/Willie Moreland, 5.53 seconds, $800
- Tanner Green/Tyler Domingue, 5.57 seconds, $400
Aggregate/Progressive Round Qualifiers
1. Cody Tew/Coy Brittain, 11.55 seconds on two steers, $2,030 each
2. Zachary Kilgus/Jake Edwards, 11.86 seconds, $1,680
3. Tanner Green/Tyler Domingue, 12.08 seconds, $1,330
4. Bobby Mote/Willie Moreland, 12.38 seconds, $980
5. Ric LeBlanc/Jed Sibley, 12.92 seconds, $630
6. Brock Hansen/Truman Magnus, 13.29 seconds, $350
7. Joe Mattern/Trey Johnson, 14.06 seconds — #2 SEED
8. Garrett Elmore/Justin de la Garza, 14.46 seconds
9. Conley Kleinhans (DY)/Bray Fenogilio (DY), 14.86 seconds
10. Brit Ellerman/Rich Skelton, 15.71 seconds
11. Tee Luttrell/Joe Mattern, 15.85 seconds
12. Blaine Burleson (DY)/Bronc Kothmann (DY), 16.71 seconds
13. Wyatt Bray/Jace Helton, 17.14 seconds
14. Rowdy Bluemel/Shane Jenkins, 19.07 seconds
15. Cayden Harmon/Casey Hicks, 23.64 seconds
16. Guy Raasch (DY)/Carson Sonnier (DY), 29.61 seconds
17. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 4.95 seconds on one head
18. Casey Hicks/ Stitches Stanley, 5.45 seconds — #4 SEED
19. Manny Egusquiza/Tyler McKnight, 6.01 seconds
20. Speed Williams/Gabriel Williams, 7.11 seconds
21. Joseph Brown/Joel Glavan, 7.53 seconds
22. Quisto Lopez/Daniel Braman, 7.75 seconds
23. Clint Summers/Ross Ashford, 7.88 seconds
24. Alex Muratori/Speed Williams, 7.99 seconds
25. Cody Russell/Whit Kitchens, 8.21 seconds
26. Nolan Mayberry(DY)/Blaine Burleson (DY), 9.69 seconds < # >
Jason Burson/Corey Hendrick—#3 SEED
Showdown Round, top two from each performance, May 11-13, plus #1 Seed
Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira — #1 SEED