ST. PAUL, Ore. – Cody Wright is trying to keep up with his younger brother.
The Milford, Utah, man leads the saddle bronc riding after the first performance of the St. Paul Rodeo with a score of 82 points, on the same horse his brother Jake won the title on at last year’s rodeo.
The horse, named Lucky You, is owned by the Big Stone Rodeo Company of Cessford, Alberta, and Cody was thrilled to see his name next to the horse on the draw sheet.
“I was pretty excited to have him,” he said, and after the ride, “and I felt like he bucked a little better tonight than he did with Jake (last year.)”
Cody travels with his younger brother, Spencer, and son, Rusty, and Spencer’s former high school and college classmate Brady Nicholes. Brady made a 75 point ride while Spencer was 74, and Rusty was 71.
Traveling with the younger guys motivates Cody, who’s been a Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association member since 1998. “They’re gung-ho and ready to go. I love to watch them make good rides. They shine when they ride, and it sparks me.”
For the Wrights, it’s a family affair. Five of Cody’s six brothers ride either saddle broncs or bulls, and Rusty is beginning the next generation.
In addition to Rusty, Cody has three more sons and a daughter. Rusty (who just graduated from high school) and Ryder (who will be a junior this fall) will compete at the National High School Finals Rodeo in mid-July; Stetson just returned from the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Des Moines, Iowa, last week. His youngest children, son Statler and daughter Lily Jo, love to ride. Lily Jo is five, and she won’t be a bronc rider, Cody said, and then reconsidered. “I’d better let her speak for herself,” he said with a laugh.
Other leaders at the St. Paul Rodeo, a gold stop on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, presented by Justin Boots, are bareback riders Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., and Caleb Bennett, Morgan, Utah (83 points each), steer wrestlers Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev. in the first round (4.7 seconds) and Sam Makenzie in the second round (4.1), bull rider Josh Koschel, Nunn, Colo. (85), and tie-down ropers Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas in the first round (9.3) and Ricky Canton, Navasota, Texas, in the second round (8.8). The first round of the team roping went to Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, and Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta, with a 5.7 second run. The leaders in the second round are Kelsey Parchman, Cumberland City, Tenn., and Justin Wade Davis, Cottonwood, Calif. (4.5). The barrel racing leader is Brenda May, Terrebonne, Ore. (17.09).
The second of five performances takes place July 3 at 7:30 pm, followed by July Fourth festivities: a parade at 10 a.m., the Great Western Barbecue Cook-Off at 11 a.m., a matinee rodeo performance at 1:30 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:30. The Tackroom Saloon, voted one of the twenty best cowboy bars in the west, opens at noon.
Courtesy of PRCA