Alberta's Cody Snyder first Canadian to be inducted into Bull Riding Hall of Fame

Cody Snyder at a Bullbustin' Inc. event in Calgary on Sept. 9, 2021.  (Todd Korol - image credit)
Cody Snyder at a Bullbustin' Inc. event in Calgary on Sept. 9, 2021. (Todd Korol - image credit)

Cody Snyder, a decorated Alberta bull rider, is the first Canadian to be inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame.

The group made the announcement Wednesday, with Snyder one of 11 inductees for 2023.

For Snyder, the news came from Donny Gay, an eight-time bull riding world champion.

"In the bull riding and rodeo world, to get a call from him, that's like Wayne Gretzky calling you to put you into the Hockey Hall of Fame," Snyder said Friday in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

"It's a great honour."

The Bull Riding Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to honour and celebrate the legends of the sport. All members and prior inductees nominate and vote for each candidate.

Although inductees have come from the United States, Brazil and Australia, a Canadian had yet to make the list.

"Overall, I say that our classes have come into existence right in time as they should, and this was Cody Snyder's year," said Bill Putnam, co-founder of the Bull Riding Hall of Fame.

"We couldn't be more honoured or proud to have Cody coming in this year."

WATCH | Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum honours Cody Snyder:

Snyder started his rodeo career at just five in his hometown of Redcliff, Alta., northwest of Medicine Hat, riding a calf at a local competition. From there, he moved to juniors, and at 12, he rode his first bull.

"I grew up around the rodeo business and ever since I was old enough to put a hat on my head and put on a pair of cowboy boots, I wanted to be a bull rider," he said.

In 1983, at 20, he became the first Canadian to be named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion bull rider. He also still holds the record for the highest scored ride in Canadian rodeo history with 95 points.

"I was never ever scared, but you have respect for bulls," he said. "I mean, they're 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, and if they step on you or hit you in the wrong spot, I mean, anything can happen."

LISTEN | Cody Snyder describes his most memorable ride:

In 1993, Snyder retired from riding after suffering a wrist injury. Instead of competing, he got into producing bull riding events through his company, Cody Snyder Bullbustin' Inc.

Those events continue today, raising more than $2 million for local charities throughout the company's history.

Snyder was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Inductees to the Bull Riding Hall of Fame will be celebrated on May 20 in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I've had a few firsts in my career, but this tops it all," Snyder said.