ProRodeo Sports News - Sept. 4, 2020
brothers Curt and Craig were well known on the Midwest bull riding scene since Cory and Curt rode bulls and Craig was a bullfighter. “Growing up, he was naturally so good,” Boettcher said. “I felt like I got better because I wanted to be as good as he was, and that’s why we started hanging out. We had the same goals and determinations, but he was 10 times better than I was. If I didn’t love him, I’d kill him, and he’d say the same about me.” Check kicked off his ProRodeo career in 1995, heading straight from the National High School Finals Rodeo to Mesquite, Texas, where he won $28,500 with a single, high-stakes ride called the Dodge Bounty. “Being a kid fromWisconsin, that’s a highlight when you’re 18 and do something like that in Texas,” Check said. “People remember it. I think it set the pace for my career.” Check won the NCFR in 1997 and 2001, claimed the Great Lakes Circuit bull riding year-end title in 2000-02 and qualified for the NFR in 2000. “When I was riding bulls, I always thought to myself, ‘How am I ever going to quit because it’s something I love so much?’” Check said. Check started his stock contracting business in 1997, bought some land after marrying Emily in 2000 and went full time with it in 2004. “His wife, Emily, is probably 99% of the reason he got as good as he did,” Boettcher said. “He is lucky to have her, and she stood by him through the ups and downs. She is dang sure the unsung hero of the family.”
Photos courtesy Cory Check
Winning the 2001 NCFR qualified Cory Check to be on the U.S. team at the 2002 Olympic Command Performance Rodeo.
A GOOD CHECK Check’s final bull ride came during the third round of the 2004 Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo. He broke his ribs during the second round but continued to compete since the average was on the line. But opportunity knocked when Dave Morehead of Three Hills Rodeo Company asked Check to bring some bulls to some rodeos. “I started going to those and getting a good check, and there was no reason to ever get on them again,” Check said. “I was still in rodeo, with my friends and didn’t need to ride any more. I thought about it and was satisfied with my circuit saddles and NFR go-round buckle, so it was easy for me. I’ll be involved in rodeo for the rest of my life.” Replacing the adrenaline rush of bull riding is difficult, but Check has found something close to it, watching his daughters compete. “Grace is 5-1 and was starting in varsity volleyball and basketball, so being a parent, going there and seeing your kid starting on varsity is pretty neat,” Check said. “And when Olivia wins in junior high rodeo it brings back some of the adrenaline rush.” Check and his family live near Gays Mills, Wis., where they run CC Bucking Bulls. About five years ago, Boettcher recommended Check to the Wisconsin high school rodeo board because Check could help contestants while also providing bucking stock. “High school rodeo throughout the country is in a bit of a decline and any leg up will help, and Cory can help with that,” Boettcher said. “He’s really doing a good job of keeping the kids in the Midwest going.” Check is at most of Wisconsin’s high school rodeos with a crew of eight. He also helps Lyle Sankey with his bull riding schools in the spring and gives pointers to aspiring bull riders at his home arena each summer. “Believe it or not he’s pretty modest and has done very well,” Boettcher said.
Photo courtesy Cory Check Cory Check, right, his wife, Emily, and their daughters Grace and Olivia remain involved with rodeo while living near Gays Mills, Wis.
ProRodeo Sports News 9/4/2020
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