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Published on June 11, 2024
Navajo Nation Backs Cody Jesus Invitational, An Event of Hope and Opportunity for Youth Bull RidersSource: The Navajo Nation

Mark your calendars for the second annual Cody Jesus Invitational, slated for July 6, which promises more than just an electrifying bull riding experience. The event, backed by the Navajo Nation's leader, President Buu Nygren, is a testament to the sport's transformative potential for youth and the community. Providing support and nurturing aspirations, the Division of Economic Development, together with Zion Enterprises, organized a sponsorship luncheon on June 10 cheering on the rodeo and its positive impact.

As stirring as the bulls they mount, the riders, especially the juniors, have looked forward to the competition this year with a particularly keen interest—they get to ride fee-free, thanks to the efforts of people like Cody Jesus. Getting a leg up in this rough sport is not just about the ride but about lifting dreams off the dusty arenas and into possibilities. "Thank you to our Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren. Whenever we need support, there he is," Deana Jackson with Zion Enterprise said, according to the Office of the President.

Amid an arena that echoes with both cheers and challenges, President Nygren sees beyond the risk and the rodeo clowns. To him, stories like Cody Jesus's, who not only made a name for themselves in bull riding but who also came home to make a difference, are emblematic of 'hope'. "Some people may see it as senseless riding," President Nygren said, as per the Office of the President. "But, when you see young people like Cody Jesus making a name for the Navaj​​o Nation and then coming home to be here for his community, especially the young ones, it’s hope."

This year's invitational isn't only about offering riders a chance to strut their stuff without the burden of fees—it's also a significant step towards inspiration and opening doors to wider horizons. The event promises opportunities, with big wins on the line for the participants who, wearing their helmets and vests, hope to emulate the prowess of Cody Jesus. As the date draws near, the community waits with bated breath, rallying behind a sport that holds more gravity than its eight-second metric.