At home on the ranch or center stage, Cody Johnson lives the cowboy life he sings about every single day. Cody Johnson photo


Country music superstar Cody Johnson lives the life he sings about. So it comes as no surprise to his inner cowboy circle that his next passion project will be a world-class week of team roping that will combine his love for the event that consumes his spare time with his huge heart for helping others. Buckle up, because the first-ever CoJo Open Team Roping and all that goes with it, including the Champs for Charity Gala, are headed to the climate-controlled Cadence Bank Center Arena in Belton, Texas this fall, October 15-19. And the singing, roping cowboy who’s hell bent on keeping the country in country music is shooting for the stars with this cowboy extravaganza straight out of the chute. 


“Team roping has all but consumed my life since 2020, and roping is what I do to get away from the smoke and lights,” said Johnson, who was actually a bull rider in his younger years. “When I’m out there horseback with a rope in my hand, I just get to be who I am at the core, and that’s a cowboy.”


The inaugural CoJo Open qualifying rounds will be held Tuesday, October 15, and feature an 85% payback, $750-per-man three-steer average, with the top 60 teams advancing to the finals on Saturday, October 19. 


The CoJo Golf Tournament will be a four-man scramble for $1,000 per team held Wednesday, October 16 at the top-flight Mill Creek Country Club in nearby Salado, Texas. A champagne bus will be available for any cowgirls who’d rather go shopping than golfing with their cowboys. 


Thursday, October 17 will be the enter-twice, limited-entry CoJo #12.5 Roping for ropers 25 and over that’s $1,000 per man to enter and is a four-steer average, progressive after one.  


The CoJo #10.5 Businessman’s Roping, with a #8.5 incentive, is Friday, October 18. The #10.5 is also a limited-entry, go-twice four-steer average, progressive after one, with $850 entry fees per roper. The #8.5 incentive will pay on three steers. 

CoJo has gone all-in on his horsemanship and roping skills in recent times. Cody Johnson photo


Later that same day, October 18, CoJo and company will be rolling out the red carpet for social hour at 4 p.m., followed by the Champs for Charity Gala. Gala goers in cowboy cocktail attire will be treated to a sit-down steak dinner, live and silent auctions, and a calcutta of the 60 teams that make Saturday’s short-round cut. CoJo will close out the evening, which will be co-hosted by his hall of fame cowboy friends Joe Beaver and Luke Branquinho, by thanking party goers with a personal acoustic set. 


The grand finale of this Ullman Peterson Events-produced week that has something for everyone who wears a cowboy hat is the main event—The CoJo Open driven by Bill Fick Ford. The CoJo Celebrity Pro-Am Roping will kick off Super Saturday, October 19, at 9 a.m. Am ropers, which will be capped at a #5, can enter twice for $500 per run, and pros rope for free. The Pro-Am will be a three-steer average, progressive after two. 


The CoJo Open short round of the top 60 teams will ride in at 2 p.m. that same day, October 19, and rope a clean-slate three-steer average, progressive after two. The CoJo Open, which is sure to be a fan favorite, will be a ticketed event. The CoJo Open After Party will be held after the roping at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton. 


It’s only fitting if the format of the CoJo Open brings back familiar, fond memories of the great tradition of the George Strait Team Roping Classic. Ropers and roping fans alike miss The Strait, and Johnson could not respect The King of Country more on stage or in the arena. Oh, and Strait, loves to team rope, too. 


“I wanted to respectfully pick up the torch,” Johnson said of the popular roping that made headlines and cowboys’ dreams come true during its 35-year run. “George Strait is a hero of mine. I’ve met the man a few times, and he’s everything I thought he would be. All I’ve heard since I started team roping is, ‘We miss The Strait.’


“If we’re talking about a guy in country music who’s stood up for cowboy, and made sure that cowboy was kept at the forefront of his songs, George Strait is my gold standard.”


In keeping with the standard first set by The King, The CoJo Open prize-line will be second to none, including quad-cab Bill Fick Ford dually trucks, Bloomer Trailers, Cactus Saddlery Saddles, Gist Buckles and rifles to the champs. The winners in every roping will also be awarded a championship custom guitar signed and presented by CoJo himself—who by the way plans to participate in all of it.


“I’ll rope in every roping, and will even play golf,” Johnson said. “I’m a horrible golfer. If I had time to golf, I’d spend that time roping instead. If golf handicaps were roping numbers, I’d say I’m about a #3 golfer. 


“But I’ve devoted most of the last four years of my life to trying to get better at my team roping, so put me down—in every roping. I’ve worked hard at my roping and my horsemanship, and I’m pretty proud of the horses I’ll be riding.”


And about those charities. CoJo and his bride, Brandi, have chosen two charities dear to their hearts. The Johnsons’ Texas-based Different Day Foundation provides housing, healthcare and empowering employment to women who’ve been victims of sex trafficking right here in America. 


Texas FFA is the second benefactor from this year’s first-annual CoJo cowboy fest. Cody first caught Brandi’s eye when she noticed “the cute bull rider with the broken leg” in a Texas FFA talent contest. They didn’t meet until years later, but both benefitted greatly from their FFA days. 


“This first roping has been four years in the making,” Johnson said. “God has put a lot of opportunity on my plate, and blessed my family and me, and also this industry. I want to share our blessings with worthy causes that help people who need it, and stand for the American way of doing what’s right. 


“I want this roping to not only grow into a life-changing event that pays ropers a pile of money and prizes, but also generate enough for charity that we change people’s lives who don’t know a steer’s head from his tail. It’s very important to me to give back, and putting on this roping keeps me very connected with my love of the game. And just like I started in a van and a trailer, then moved up to a tour bus, this week of roping has the potential to grow into something huge. 


“My goal is to build the biggest roping in the United States. When I step out on stage, I don’t want to just play a show. I want it to be the best show you’ve ever seen. I want this roping to be the same way. This hat is real, this buckle is real, this music is real and this roping will be real, too.”


Is CoJo the real cowboy deal? Ask the champs…


“Cody knows who we are, because he’s one of us,” said World Champion Team Roper Colby Lovell. “He lives it, and he means it when he sings about it. Cody’s our concrete cowboy with the power to stand up for rodeo, ranching and cowboys in places where people judge from the outside in. He’s worked his hands to the bone, so he’s not a guy who’s ever going to forget where he came from. Cody Johnson has brought the cowboy hat back.”


“A lot of guys in country music want to be cowboys,” said Cowboy King and 26-time World Champion Trevor Brazile. “Cody is a cowboy. I’ve roped with him.”


“Cody’s stayed true to himself, and stuck to his guns,” said World Champion Team Roper Kaleb Driggers. “He’s not afraid to get up on that stage and talk about his belief in God, love for America and everything we stand for as cowboys.” 


More information is available at Entries open and tickets go on sale July 10! 


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