Courtesy of Wrangler Network contributor Charlie Coon
All rodeo fans are aware of the Wright family of bronc riders but few are more in touch than the folks who live alongside the Wrights in Milford, Utah. There are 1,451 residents in the valley agricultural and Union Pacific Railroad town which is located 30 miles west of Interstate 15 in the center of Beaver County.
One of the managers at the Wells Fargo bank was watching the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over the weekend when her granddaughter blurted: "He makes more money than the principal!" She was reacting to another go-round win by 18-year- old Ryder Wright. It seemed appropriate to confirm the girl's statement and indeed Ryder's income thus far at the NFR does exceed the annual salary of Milford High School top administrator David Cluff and everyone else in the little town where each main road's entry point is adorned with huge signs welcoming visitors to the "Home of World Champion Saddle Bronc Riders." Pretty hard to dispute that claim. And there are still two more sons of Cody Wright in high school.
I visited Milford High School this week and found the Wright family to be universally loved and appreciated as simple, hard working, down-to- earth folks who give a lot back to the community.
Cody was given a place on the high school "Wall of Fame" in 2012. Jesse and Jake, twins and younger brothers to Cody, are remembered too not only for their gifted abilities in sports but also as kids who strove to become several steps above precocious. All of the Wrights return to the schools in Milford when they can to help with reading programs and to guide young wrestlers.
Two high school administrators were more than willing to share their praises and stories. (Rodeo action footage from the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this week is courtesy of CBS Sports Network and the PRCA)