Webster Relishes His Fights for Life

Cody Webster can’t recall exactly when he decided to be a bullfighter.

“I never had that day,” said Webster, 30, of Wayne, Oklahoma. “I knew from the time I was a baby. My mom could tell I had my eyes on the rodeo clowns and bullfighters. I was trying to paint my face before I could really walk.”

It’s a telling statement about one of the greatest bullfighters in the business. A Resistol endorsee who has worked the last seven PBR World Finals and the last nine National Finals Rodeos, he’s been selected each of the last two years as the PRCA’s Bullfighter of the Year.

He’s living the life he’d always dreamed about, and he’s doing it as one of the elite bullfighters, something he’s developed over time with a combination of hard work and a distinct passion for being great at what he does.

“I started fighting bulls heavily at my grandpa’s place when I was 9 or 10,” said Webster, who also raises fighting bulls at his home, which he shares with his wife, Ashley. “I ended up meeting (fellow bullfighter) Frank Newsom when I was 10 or 11, and the rest is history.”

Newsom has been recognized as one of the best for better than 20 years, and he quickly became Webster’s mentor. The two lived just a few miles apart, and Webster was a fixture at Newsom’s place, where the youngster learned every tool in a bullfighter’s trademark baggy pants.

“I’ve been a bullfighter my whole life,” Webster said.

There have been sacrifices along the way. He doesn’t get to spend time with friends and family as much as he’d like, and he’s missed out on special moments.

Still, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“This is all I’ve dreamed of my entire life,” he said. “It’s what makes me who I am. It’s literally given me everything that my wife and I have, lots of land and a lot of cattle.

“It’s pretty crazy what it’s turned into.”

When he was younger, Webster made a living by competing in freestyle bullfights, where the bullfighters are matched with aggressive and agile bulls bred specifically for the fight. That’s how he got into raising fighting bulls. While he focuses his bullfighting more on protection than competition, Webster is still pretty handy stepping around the animals in his herd.

“It’s a younger man’s game,” he said. “I want to focus in 100 percent on what I do, and that’s protecting cowboys. I want to be as good as I can be to keep guys safe.

“We’ve got a lot of mean cattle standing around the ranch. I think I have a slight addiction with it. I’ve always been drawn to the bulls and the cows. I have them at my own ranch and my own arena, where I do my bullfight schools.”

He’s been nominated for PRCA Bullfighter of the Year 10 times, has won the title twice and has worked the biggest events in the game. He owns accolade after accolade, but his biggest honor is in the work he performs daily.

“The best part of my job is just the fact that I truly have gotten to live out my childhood dreams,” Webster said. “I get to wake up every day and do what I love.”