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2001/07/10

Cory Rasch Sets Goal Of Making The PBR Finals by Kevin DeBusk Former Tennessee High School rodeo participant Cory Rasch is in his first year competing in the Professional Bull Rider Association (PBR). Cory, who is twenty-two, resides in Clarksville, Tennessee and is just getting back into competing after three months off due to injuries. "Then I got hurt three months ago in Phoenix," he said. "I shattered my elbow and tore my triceps and biceps from the bone. They put some screws, wire and pins in it and this (Bullnanza in Nashville, Tennessee June 8 and 9) is my first one back. "I sort of had the jitters on my first one but after that I got over it. It feels real good to be back. Last night I had a real good bull and tonight an exceptionally bull. They bucked hard and I tried my hardest." Cory didn't complete either ride but finished without any effects of his previous injury. So what goes through your mind after being off for three months with an injury? "You try not to think about it," Cory said. "It's hard not to especially when your injury is still bothering you. You just have to put it in the back of your mind and not think about it." Cory, whose father team ropes, began with his dad roping. "My dad ropes and I started out riding steers," Cory reported. "In high school rodeo I started riding bulls. I won the National High School All-Around title when I was a freshman. I rode bulls and team roped. I went to the National High School finals all four years I was in high school. After I graduated high school I went to school in Texas for probably two and a half semesters. I was winning so much money that I wondered why was I going to school right now because I can always go back and finish up, but right now I would rather be doing what I love to do." Cory noted that when he went to college he thinks his parents were hoping he would stop riding bulls and start team roping again. "In college I was competing in PBR and PRCA members," said Cory. "I bought my first card the week I went to my first Pro Rodeos. I bought it and as soon as I got it I went to two Pro Rodeos. I won a first at the first one and a second at the next one. From then on it was good. In Austin, Texas last year during the winter rodeos I got hurt and broke my collarbone. "When I came back I went to the Touring Pro's and won some money with the Touring Pro's and I've never been back to a Pro Rodeo since then. I started out in the Touring Pros and this year I made enough money to make the first cut." Making the cut allowed Cory to compete in the covenanted Bud Light Cup Tour. "The fans of the PBR are the best," he remarked. "They cheer for me just as much as they do for someone from Canada, Australia or Brazil. I wish I could have come here and done better for the fans but I was nervous, especially last night when it was my first time back in three months." Cory added it was nice to come back in his backyard. "My goal is to make the PBR finals," he stated. "My first goal would be to win the World Championship. This would have been my first year I could have gone all year but the three months off kind of hurt me. I was thirty-sixth or thirty-seventh in points and in the top forty-five in money before getting injured. I need to do what I was doing before I got hurt and that's ride bulls to make it to the finals." Cory is currently in forty second with 929 points and $11,605 earned in Bud Light Cup. Cory also joined the 90 Point Club June 22, in Houston with a score of 91 on Smokin' Joe. Thus far Cory has competed in five of the twenty-one PBR events and ridden three of nine bulls. He placed sixth at the Cleveland Open with 476 point. During that event Cory placed third in the first go with 89.5 points on Drill Bit and forth in the second go with 86.5 points on Lyons King. However, in the short go Cory was unable to make the eight-second whistle on The Bomb. Passion for the sport is what drives Cory to continue competing after his injuries. "Injuries are going to happen if you're racing cars or anything else," he said. "If you love what you're doing nothing can really stop you and you're going to keep on doing it." So what would Cory suggest to new comers to the sport? "Set your goals and try as hard as you can," he said. "If you try you can do it. When I first got my PBR permit it was my goal to win $2,500 in a PBR Touring Pro event because that ment I had my card. That was one of the happiest days of my life when I was able to say I was a member of the PBR. "Schools are good, if you go to a good school. Anybody can put on a bull riding school but you want to go to someone that knows what they are doing. You want to go to one like Gary Leffew, Tuff Hedeman or Chris Shivers puts on. I went to a Gary Leffew school when I was in the ninth grade."

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