Rodeo Kicks Off in Red Bluff

Texas cowboy, Wright family of saddle bronc riders in the hunt for the gold buckle

Bill Tutor leads the bareback riding after the first performance of the 97th annual Red Bluff Round-Up. The 27-year-old cowboy hails from Huntsville, Texas. Photo by Hubbell Rodeo Photography.

Red Bluff, Calif. – The eyes of the rodeo world are focused on the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up this weekend, with the first performance of the three-day show taking place on Friday, April 20.

Over 550 cowboys and cowgirls from across the U.S., Canada and Australia are vying for an estimated payout of over $800,000 after the final checks are cut on April 22.

Bareback rider Bill Tutor hopes to get a piece of the cash and a Round-Up buckle.

The Huntsville, Texas cowboy made a ride of 85 points to take the lead in his event.

He rode the Bridwell Pro Rodeos horse Scarlet Lady, a horse bareback rider Kash Wilson won first place on in Redmond, Ore. three weeks ago. He saw video of the five-year-old bay mare’s trip, Tutor said, “and the horse was outstanding. I was excited the whole time to get to Red Bluff.”

Tutor competed at his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) last December, finishing the 2017 season in eleventh place in the world. The trip to the “yellow chutes” in Las Vegas at the WNFR was an “amazing experience,” he said. After pro rodeoing seven years, “it was all I ever dreamed of, and it lived up to every expectation. It was truly a dream come true.”

He is currently ranked fifth in the world standings with $38,000 won, but the busy part of the rodeo season is just getting started. “It’s early. There’s a lot of rodeoing left to go,” he said. “I had a good winter, a good jump start on the year, and that’s always nice.”

Tutor travels with fellow bareback rider Evan Jayne, who started as Tutor’s mentor. When Jayne was a French teacher at Huntsville High School, Tutor was his high school aide his senior year, 2009-2010. They talked bareback riding; Jayne was riding professionally and Tutor was riding in the high school ranks. “I thought that was so cool,” Tutor said. “We talked bareback riding all the time. It made me feel cool because I was his student.”

Jayne is a good traveling partner, Tutor said. “He’s very positive.” The twenty-six year old likes to jab at Jayne’s age; Jayne is nine years older than him. “He makes sure you get to bed on time.”

After the first performance of the Round-Up, the Wrights dominated the saddle bronc riding. Seven Wrights, all from the Milford, Utah area, and all related, competed tonight. Brothers Cody, Alex, Jake, Jesse and Spencer, and Cody’s sons Rusty and Ryder, were in Red Bluff and took the top three places so far. Rusty Wright leads the saddle bronc riding with a score of 85; his uncle Jesse is in second place (82.5) and his brother Ryder, the 2017 world champion, is tied for third place with New Underwood, South Dakota’s Louie Brunson (81 points each).

Other leaders after tonight’s performance are steer wrestler Bridger Chambers, Stevensville, Mont. (3.8 seconds); tie-down roper Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas (8.1 seconds); team ropers JB James, Jr., Bennett, Colo. and Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz. (6.6 seconds); and barrel racer Jessie Telford, Caldwell, Ida. (17.08 seconds). J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas, leads his event with a score of 86 points.

The second of three performances of the Red Bluff Round-Up takes place Saturday, April 21. The Kiwanis Pancake breakfast runs from 7-10 am, and the rodeo parade kicks off at 10 am. The rodeo begins at 2:30 pm. For more information, visit the rodeo’s website at Tickets range in price from $14 to $30 and are available at the gate and online.

Results after first performance, Red Bluff Round-Up, April 20, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018 – first performance

Bareback riding

1. Bill Tutor, Huntsville, Texas 85 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet Lady; 2. Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D. 81; 3. Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa 80.5; 4. Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas 77.5

Steer wrestling

1. Bridger Chambers, Stevensville, Mont. 3.8 seconds; 2. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. 4.8; 3. Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Ida. 5.1; 4. Mike McGinn, Haines, Ore. 5.2.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah 85 points on Corey & Lange Pro Rodeo’s Precious; 2. Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah 82.5; 3. (tie) Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah and Louie Brunson, New Underwood, S.D. 81 each.

Tie-down roping

1. Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas 8.1 seconds; 2. Bo Pickett, Caldwell, Ida. 8.4; 3. Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev. 8.9; 4. Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas 10.1.

Team Roping

1. JB James, Jr., Bennett, Colo./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz. 6.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Andrew Ward, Edmond, Okla./Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla. and Joshua Torres, Ocala, Fla./Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla. 6.8 each; 4. (tie) Chant DeForest, Wheatland, Calif./Bronc Boehnlein, Riverside, Calif. and C.J. DeForest, Jr., Wheatland, Calif./Andy Holcomb, San Juan Batista, Calif. 6.9 each.

Barrel racing

1. Jessie Telford, Caldwell, Ida. 17.08 seconds; 2. Jody Hale, Echo,Ore. 17.38; 3. Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas 17.39; 4. Leia Pluemer, Bosque Farms, N.M. 17.40.

Bull riding

1. J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas 86 points on Corey and Lang Pro Rodeo’s Red Ryder; 2. Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah 84; 3. Trey Benton, III, Rock Island, Texas 81; 4. Aaron Williams, Pismo Beach, Calif. 64.

** All results are unofficial. For more information, visit