The Life & Times Of World Rodeo Champion Jack Roddy
Jack Roddy’s life has primarily been rodeo, and he has succeeded to get to the top. He became the World Champion Steer Wrestler in 1966 & 1968. He has been inducted to the Rodeo Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and received the Ben Johnson Memorial Award there as well. He was inducted to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979, their first year, at Colorado Springs. He has won many other rodeo awards, and been the first to do certain things in rodeo, or done them the most times. Jack is a true All Around Cowboy and has personally done so much to protect and improve rodeo.
This tell-all will surprise many long time fans. Jack is of Irish heritage, and his father was not easy to deal with, but Jack wrestled with him until they found a common ground. Jack has represented rodeo in many ways; by being the Steer Wrestling Director, being part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors turning rodeo into a multi-million dollar sport. He has represented rodeo against PETA and other groups working under the guise of protecting animals, in such a manner that proved rodeo protects their animals better than most and should never be accused of abusing them. After all, the stock used in rodeo is their ‘bread and butter’.
Jack has had many other endeavors through his life, such as running bars in San Francisco and San Jose, CA. He has managed ranches, has wrestled against reforms that almost broke the United States beef industry. He also worked to protect ranchers and ranching in so many ways, and most people were never aware these problems even existed.
The cowboy, Jack, attended Cal Poly, and won top rodeo awards in the NIRA. When the school had their rodeo grounds taken away from them Jack was approached to help raise funds to build new facilities. Not only did he succeed in doing so, he brought much more financing than was expected and needed.
He has had his share of injuries in the arena. He also had the loss of friends in the arena, as well. He and Dale Smith bought a ranch near Brentwood, California, on which Jack lived and managed the ranch. It was well-situated for people in the San Francisco Bay area, and he built a top rated golf course on the ranch. The beautiful setting could manage cattle, and an occasional roping and steer wrestling in the arena. He could also hold a major gathering such as a barbeque in a covered area, area/arena, which he did for the Rodeo Historical Society one year.
Jack has had a diverse life, and even took good friend, Chris Cox, well-known horse trainer, and an entourage, including a film crew to Ireland to visit relatives still living there. He made a documentary of the trip which he shared with friends. He eventually found his life partner, Donna, and they are an excellent team.
Unfortunately, he has also had to wrestle with the double-cross of a trusted partner. He discovered a young man which he had befriended and considered family, had stolen a large sum of money from Jack. But the financial losses have only strengthened Jack’s ability to wrestle with right and wrong. These are the things that shaped his integrity and belief in doing the right thing. This is the honest story of a Champion.
Katie Cooney is the author of this account of her friend Jack’s life experiences. She also attended Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, and comes from Irish farming roots. She has traveled the world and photographed and written about a multitude of things she has seen. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling and MBA in Global Business. She consults in marketing and sales in the San Francisco Bay area and lives in San Jose with her husband, and two dogs. You can order the book by going to Amazon.com.