Flashback Friday: Cody Wright, Rusty Wright Finished 1-2 in Fort Worth in 2014

Each time Cody Wright goes to a rodeo, he knows there will be dozens of other saddle bronc riders – most much younger than him – trying to take him down for first-place money.

As the patriarch of the Wright rodeo family, he is even used to competing against his own family members at almost every rodeo. But this time was different at the 2014 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

As Wright climbed aboard J Bar J Rodeo’s Shady Cat for the last ride of the final round at the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show Rodeo on Feb. 8, he looked up at the average leaders to see none other than his 18-year-old son, Rusty, in the lead.

“I was the last one to ride at Fort Worth, and my wife told me afterward that she wondered if I would jump off my horse so that Rusty could win it,” Wright said with a laugh. “The answer to that question is that he’s 18 and I’m almost 37, and he has a lot more years left to win Fort Worth than I do. He still has three brothers and a sister I have to raise, and I also have to take care of his mom, so I’m not jumping off and wasting the chance to make money.”

Staying on the horse was a good call for the two-time world champion, who edged his son by three points in the average with a score of 243 points on three head.

For Wright, it was a special day in more ways than one. Not only did he win his third Fort Worth title in four years and earn $11,088, he also watched his son take second place in the average and earn a total of $9,124 – not a bad consolation prize for a kid fresh out of high school.

“This gives me confidence, but I know that I have to keep working hard and riding every horse the best I can,” Rusty said. “I can’t let up at all just because I won some money at some big rodeos. There are a lot of rodeos left.”

In addition to his Fort Worth haul, Rusty also made $3,394 in Denver and won the Southwest District Fat Stock Show Rodeo in Lake Charles, La., on Feb. 1.

Although her son has burst onto the PRCA scene with some big performances in 2014, ShaRee Wright – Cody’s wife – was still quite nervous listening to the final round of Fort Worth.

“We were listening on ProRodeoLive, and when Rusty rode, I was shaking and I was a bundle of nerves,” ShaRee said. “Cody came up last and I was thinking, ‘Rusty, I’m proud of you, but we still have to pay the bills.’ I was just hoping they’d be one and two, and I didn’t care which way it went, as long as they both did well.

“I did wonder for a brief moment before Cody rode if he’d jump off because Rusty was winning, but Cody would never do that. He wants his boys to win, but he’s not going to hand them anything.”

Fast-forward to the present and Cody was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2023 and Rusty is a five-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – 2015-16, 2018-20.

Other winners in 2014 in Fort Worth were all-around cowboy Russell Cardoza; bareback rider Steven Peebles; steer wrestler Seth Brockman; team ropers Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II; tie-down roper Chant DeForest; barrel racer Shelly Anzick; and bull rider Joe Frost.

Courtesy of PRCA

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