Cole Curry, 20, is sitting No. 1 in the Resistol Rookie heeling standings with $17,958.42 in season earnings as of July 24, 2021, with Rance Doyal sitting second with a $197.63 difference. Curry, of Liberty, Mississippi, is heading for fellow Resistol Rookie contender Tucker Menz and is eyeing his chance at the Resistol Rookie of the Year title.
Kelly Lynch: Tell me a little bit about yourself, like where you’re from, how old are you, where you go to school and anything else you’d like to include.
Cole Curry: I am 20 years old. I am from Liberty, Mississippi. I was in school at East Mississippi Community College and we college rodeoed there.
KL: How did you first get into team roping?
CC: My family has a cattle operation—we buy cattle here during the week and turn out some yearlings—and they’ve all roped and I’ve just been around it my whole life. So, I got into it at a pretty young age.
KL: Who would you say taught you how to rope?
CC: My dad. He did rope calves, but he didn’t go a lot. He went to some circuit Pro Rodeos and stuff and then he mostly had to work.
KL: Did he teach you how to calf rope first, or was it always team roping for you?
CC: Mostly team rope. I do rope calves in college and stuff. Just where we live, it’s a lot better, more opportunity to make more money team roping than calf roping.
KL: Have you always been a heeler, or have you ever tried your hand at heading before?
CC: When I was younger I did both ends, and then I had to pick one to be better than the other, and I decided to pick heeling and went at that.
KL: Is that something that you keep track of while you’re going on your summer run, or do you just not pay attention to it?
CC: No, I try not to worry about that. Normally, I just try to do my job, win every steer and if it works out, it’ll work out.
KL: Who are you roping with this summer at the Pro Rodeos, and how did that partnership with Tucker come about?
CC: I’m roping with Tucker Menz this summer. We both didn’t have runs for the summer, and we just kind of called and talked and then just kind of got partnered up.
KL: What do you think has helped prepare you the most from roping at the amateur level at college rodeos into roping at Pro Rodeos?
CC: Definitely going to all the amateur rodeos helped a lot. It’s a pretty fast set up and most of them are one run at a time, so you really have to capitalize on that one opportunity you get.
KL: Where you’re from, would you say the caliber of steers and stuff are similar to the Pro Rodeos, or are they faster—what's the difference?
CC: In the Southeast, I would say the steers for the most part are the better stuff or pretty similar, but we rope a lot—probably worse steers—that have more tricks to them and in a lot smaller set ups.
KL: Do you have any personal goals for yourself during this rodeo season that you’re focusing on?
CC: Just win as much as I can. The goal is always to try to get to the Finals, but if everything goes good, that’s the goal, but mainly just do what I can and trying to win the rookie also.
KL: What do you do to stay positive and focused during the rodeo season when it’s just go, go, go?
CC: If I make a mistake on one or anything I’ll rope my dummy a little bit and just kind of go back to the basics and know that the next run is a chance. Out here when you’re gone for two or three months, you don’t get to go to the practice pen. You mainly have to figure it out in your head.
KL: What are some essential items that you make sure you always have on the road with you?
CC: Probably, my Smarty Pipes and then I definitely have to have my rope. I use a Classic rope. My Resistol hat, And then just, that’s about it. Everything else you can about buy, necessities I would say.
KL: What is the horse you've been heeling on at the Pro Rodeos?
CC: I bought this horse from Wesley Barlow in Oklahoma. He got this horse from Joseph Harrison, and I think they raised this horse at Bobby Lewis'. I’ve rode the horse before and I had liked him and then we worked out a deal where I could get him and that’s what I’ve been riding. Laverne. I didn’t name him, but I wouldn’t give him that name. They say it’s bad luck to change a horse’s name.
KL: What have you found that has been the most challenging part about competing at the pro level?
CC: Well, mostly if it’s about 100 teams entered, 90% of them are top of the level. So, drawing the better end of the steers—you have to do that to place. The drawing is a big factor.
KL: What has been your favorite Pro Rodeo that you’ve roped at this year?
CC: That’s a hard one there. I really liked Reno because it is one of the most paying average rodeos, and it’s the start to the summer run.
KL: Do you have any coming up that you’re really looking forward to?
CC: Cheyenne (Wyoming). That’s definitely one that a lot of guys look forward to.
KL: Is there anything about roping at Cheyenne that you’re nervous about like that long score, or anything?
CC: No, I guess it’s more on the header because the barrier, but no, I’m kind of looking forward to it. It’s a different set up, but I think it’s pretty cool. You’re definitely running a lot faster and I think it’s nice.
KL: What are your roping goals for the future?
CC: I definitely would love to make the Finals a couple times, and really depending on how consistent that is, on how that goes, eventually I want to have a professional business, just to have some more income, and be successful. I don’t know what the business would be.
KL: Who do you look up to in the roping world most, and why?
CC: I mainly look up to all the top, older guys that have been there and done it because they know how to stay hooked and what it takes to make it—like Paul Eaves, Jade Corkill, Kollin VonAhn, Joseph Harrison and Junior Nogueira.
KL: If you could give one piece of advice to an up-and-coming team roper that might be in the same shoes that you’re in, in the coming years, what piece of advice would you give that person?
CC: Definitely stay positive. Staying positive is a big key.