Bucket List Rodeo

By: Ruth Nicolaus

Second performance of St. Paul Rodeo takes place

Seven-time world champion Stetson Wright leads the bull riding after the second night of the St. Paul Rodeo. The first pro rodeo the Utah cowboy won was St. Paul, in 2018; he wore the St. Paul buckle till he won his first world title, in 2019. Photo by Hoot Creek.

St. Paul, Ore. – During last night’s performance of the St. Paul Rodeo, only one bull rider made the eight second buzzer.

On July 1, the second night of rodeo, that number was tripled. Three men made qualified rides, and one of them is no stranger to the winner’s circle.

Seven-time world champion Stetson Wright scored 84 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s bull named Bluestone Black Panther to take the lead after two nights of the St. Paul Rodeo.

Stetson Wright makes the victory lap after being the high score of the bull riding on the July 1 performance of the St. Paul Rodeo. Photo by Hoot Creek.

It was a long eight seconds for the Milford, Utah man. “It was a young bull,” Wright said. “He got out of line and was harder to ride. Right away, he had me pulled over his head, and I had to fight to get back to the other side of the bull (over his center). Towards the end of the ride, he jumped away from me, and I just barely made the whistle.”

The St. Paul Rodeo has a special place in Wright’s career. The first pro rodeo he won was St. Paul in 2018, and he wore that buckle till he won the PRCA all-around world title the next year.

Stetson is a member of the Wright family rodeo dynasty, with a combined thirteen gold buckles, all saddle bronc riding, won by his dad Cody (twice), his brother Ryder (twice) and uncles Jesse and Spencer (each once.)

He is currently ranked third the PRCA bull riding standings, second in the saddle bronc riding and leads the all-around race. The all-around title is given to the cowboy who wins the most money in two or more events. He also competed in the saddle bronc riding in St. Paul, scoring 85.5 points.

Louisiana’s Tristan Martin leads the average in the steer wrestling with a combined time of 8.7 seconds on two head. Photo by Hoot Creek.

Tristan Martin’s rodeo life hasn’t been the greatest as of late, but his fortune is changing.

The Sulphur, Louisiana cowboy is in the lead in the steer wrestling after the second performance of the St. Paul Rodeo.

During slack on Saturday, July 1, Martin turfed his first-round steer in a time of 4.0 seconds, and his second round steer in 4.7 to have an average time of 8.7 seconds.

Martin has been rodeoing professionally for eight years, becoming a PRCA member in 2015. He’s had some good years, including two years of making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (2021-2022).

But when the last few months were tough, he made some big changes. He bought two horses and a new truck and trailer, and it’s getting better.

His horsepower is much of the difference.

“Careful” has a lot to do with it. That’s the name of his twelve-year-old black gelding, a new purchase made a month ago from long-time friend Mike Neighbors.

“The opportunity came up to buy this horse, and I couldn’t be more happy that I did,” he said.

Prior to owning Careful and his new hazing horse, Tea, he borrowed other steer wrestlers’ horses, which requires paying a mount fee to the horse’s owner.

Owning his own horses has made a difference. Careful “is so consistent,” Martin said, “so easy in the box. He gives you a chance to win every single time, and you can’t ask for anything better than that in a steer wrestling horse.”

The financial decisions in buying two horses, plus a new truck and trailer, weren’t made lightly.

“Me and my wife (Josee) and family made a decision to make an investment and it’s sure working out for us.”

Martin’s rodeo run over Independence Day is going well. He won the Prineville, Ore. rodeo, and is second in the average in Prescott, Ariz., and there’s more rodeo to go. He competed in Eugene, Ore., on the evening of July 1, and will go on to Molalla, Basin City, Ore., and Livingston, Mont.

Last year, wife Josee and their young son Boudreaux traveled with him on the rodeo road. This year, they’re at home while he travels. “With the investments in the horses and the rigs, we couldn’t afford that process this year.”

By this time last year, Martin had won over $70,000, securing his place in the top fifteen in the PRCA world standings, so he didn’t have to rodeo as hard as he’s having to this year. But he has a competitor’s attitude. He’s not in the top 50 in the world standings right now, but “I will be after this week.

“I’m not too much worried about it,” he said. “The summer’s just starting. I’m going to Calgary (Stampede) in two weeks, and I’ll win that one.”

“We’re making a lot more money now, and things are going good.”

He loves coming to St. Paul. “I’d love to win St. Paul,” he said. “This has been on my bucket list forever. So if it’s in God’s plan, it will work. If not, I’ll probably win good money. So we’ll take what we get.”

Other high scores and fast times from slack and the second performance of the St. Paul Rodeo are tie-down roper Justin Smith, Leesville, La. in the first round (7.9 seconds); Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La. in the second round (8.6); saddle bronc rider Tanner Butner, Daniel, Wyo. (87.5); team ropers Cole Thomas, Emelle, Ala. and Clay Green, Pine Grove, La. in the first round (4.2) and Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala. and Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont. in the second round (4.2) and barrel racer Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla. (17.29).

The third performance of the St. Paul Rodeo takes place July 2 at 7:30 pm and is followed with a fireworks display. The rodeo continues July 3-4 with evening performances at 7:30 pm and a 1:30 matinee on July 4.

The rodeo is broadcast live on The Cowboy Channel.

For more information, visit the website at

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