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Mountain Ranch Teen is a Modern-day Cowboy

By Vanessa Turner

Cody Callaway can rope a calf quicker than you can say “boy howdy,” but his real desire is to ride bulls competitively.

Born Jan. 16, 1992, to Michelle and Scott Callaway, the 13-year-old Mountain Ranch resident is a modern day cowboy.

“He´s been roping since he was two years old and riding horses since before he could walk,” his doting mom said.

At six years old, Cody won first place for best ride and received his first buckle in mutton busting (sheep riding) at the Mother Lode Round Up in Sonora. The next two years he placed second at the Amador County Fair and took first place at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.

His true love though, is bull riding, which he got a taste of at the 2001 and 2002 Calaveras County fairs riding miniature bulls.

“His name was Toy Tiger,” Cody said of the bull he drew. “I only lasted 1.5 or 2.5 seconds. It just happened so fast.”

When asked what it is about bull riding that makes him want to do it for a career, Cody said, “Just the adrenaline. It was a rush.”

That rush has led to big plans.

Cody would like to someday buy a ranch in Montana while traveling and competing in rodeos. He said he wants to compete in high school and college rodeo first and then move up to the pros.

He´ll compete in his first “real” rodeo this April in LaGrange where his events are steer riding, break away roping and goat tying. To practice his riding, Cody said he rides his bottle-fed calves when they get big enough.

In the meantime, Cody keeps a busy schedule with his 4-H projects and extra curricular activities. Cody´s been in the San Andreas 4-H club since he was five and has been an officer for the last four years.

He started by showing pygmy goats and went on to introduce the Boer meat goat competition to the Calaveras County fair.

In 2001, Cody brought some of his family´s herd of Boer goats as a barn exhibit. The next year, the Boer meat goats were added as breed classes into the fair.

He went onto win grand champion with his Boer doe Dot, which he named after the dot on her back.

This year, he´ll enter the bred by exhibitor class for the second time with the offspring of his goats, Dot and Bocephus, which he named after Hank Williams Jr.

He´ll go up against his sister Sarah, 10, who is also bringing some of the goats.

Also this year, for the third time, Cody will show a steer. This year´s steer is named Rattlesnake and weighs 900 pounds, but will reach 1,300 to 1,400 pounds by fair time, Cody said.

When it comes time to sell his animals Cody is a complete professional with the exception of his first meat goat.

“I only cried with one animal, Cal,” he said. “We always walked around together.”

Aside from showing his animals at the fair, Cody participates in 4-H presentation days where he gives demonstrations on various topics such as how to saddle your horse, how to rope, and raising your meat goat start to finish.

He´ll make his goat presentation again at Agriculture Awareness Day on March 17.

A significant achievement for Cody came last year when he won the Susan E. Nunes Memorial/Perpetual Round Robin Award for winning the advanced large animal round robin.

He is one of the youngest 4-H members to win this award, his mom said.

Cody gives back to his community by bringing his traveling petting zoo to various events.

He, along with his sister Sara and 4-H friends Jacob and Erica Ham, have taken their animals on the road for the past three years to the Kit Carson Nursing and Rehab Center during National Nursing Home Week.

They´ve also done Lumber Jack Days in Arnold and plan to do it again this year.

Cody knows how to have a little fun too, balancing his hard work with a lot of play.

He´s had his hunting license for two years and shot his first deer last year in Mountain Ranch. The first season he got a turkey. Cody also enjoys quail and dove hunting in Plymouth.

Fishing is another favorite of his. The best spots are Pardee and New Hogan Reservoir, he said.

With a strong desire to be outside, Cody also has taken up dirt bike riding with friends Jacob Ham and Sheridan Miller. He bought his first bike with the money he made selling his show animals.

Cody does do one activity indoors and that´s play his Playstation II, although the games he plays all have to do with the outdoors. His favorites are Cabela´s Big Game Hunter and Most Dangerous Hunts.

Cody has already picked is college n it´s Cal Poly for the agricultural science program. He´s interested in learning more about bull testing and artificial insemination to maybe be a large animal veterinarian someday.

To learn more about local 4-H programs, contact the county´s University of California Extension office at 754-6477.

Contact Vanessa Turner at vturner@calaverasenterprise.com.


Name: Cody Callaway

Age: 13

Born: Jan. 16, 1992

School: seventh grader at Toyon Middle School

Family: Parents Michelle and Scott Callaway and sister Sarah, 10

Hobbies: 4-H, hunting, fishing, dirt back riding

Reprinted with kind permission from The Calaveras Enterprise