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Friday, August 11, 2006
Great Eighth

By Ann Bleiker
PRCA

Following the Dodge City Roundup in Dodge City, Kan., Cody Ohl was less than $900 away from the $2 million mark in career earnings. The thought of being the eighth cowboy to join the illustrious $2 million club was in the back of his mind as he threw the loop on his first calf on Aug. 8 at the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo.

That loop pushed him over the $2 million mark as he finished the run in 8.3 seconds to share the first-round victory and pocketed $1,872.

"It feels great, and there is no other feeling like it," said Ohl of the $2 million milestone. "It hasn't been very long ago that there was a big deal made about Roy (Cooper) being the first one and now I am there. To be just the eighth is a great thing and to be part of a group with such greatness is a true honor."

It hasn't been very long ago that there was a big deal made about Roy (Cooper) being the first one and now I am there.

During the month of July, Ohl found his sweet spot, winning close to $40,000. He kept the momentum going into August, winning the Dodge City Roundup average and checks worth $6,520, which moved him into the lead in the ProRodeo Cowboys World Standings with a total of $101,901 at 35 rodeos.

Ohl (Hico, Texas) says 80 percent of his success this year has come from his reliable steed Luke. Luke, a 12-year old sorrel, was trained by world champion and recent Hall of Fame inductee Chris Lybbert and is owned by Darren Blanton of the Star Double B Ranch in Walnut Springs, Texas. Luke has been Ohl's main horse for the past two years and he says he gets better with every run.

"He is a horse you can count on every run and he fits any situation," said Ohl, who figures he has won close to $400,000 with Luke's help. "He started good and trained well and the last two years he has elevated his game. When I show up at a rodeo, I know I have a chance to win first no matter the setup and that is a plus when you are out here trying to beat the best in the world. Without a good horse, it doesn't matter how good of a roper you are when you are out here trying to beat the top five week-in and week-out."

In 2006, Ohl has ridden Luke to the winner's circle in Houston; San Angelo, Texas; Laughlin, Nev.; Stephenville, Texas; Red Lodge, Mont.; Nampa, Idaho; and won Tour Round titles at Salinas, Calif.; and Cheyenne, Wyo.

Every rodeo I have won this year, I have been on him (Luke).

"Every rodeo I have won this year, I have been on him," Ohl said. "He is a great horse and loves what he does. We are working well as a team and I hope it doesn't slow down anytime soon."

When the 32-year old reflects back on his career and the horses he has ridden, he quickly lists Luke among the best.

"Luke would definitely be in the top three," Ohl said. "I had a good bay horse a few years ago called Hustler and then the black horse, Orejas, that I rode back in 1998 to win my second world title."

As Ohl heads into the remaining months of the 2006 rodeo season, he has two more goals he would like to achieve.

"Crossing the $2 million mark was great and now if I can win another world title and Luke an AQHA Horse of the Year title, then that will be icing on the cake," Ohl said.