By Matt Naber
ARLINGTON, Texas – Still hot off his second PRCA saddle bronc riding world title in December, Ryder Wright knew he was in for a good ride during the long round at The American when he drew Calgary Stampede’s Tokyo Bubbles Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
History said so.
Wright had an 87-point ride on Tokyo Bubbles to win the second round of Bracket 3 at the 2017 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. On Feb. 27 in San Antonio, Wright watched as Kolby Wanchuk won the rodeo with a 91-point ride on Tokyo Bubbles in the finals at Freeman Coliseum.
“I’ve been on that horse two times and she’s never been that good for me,” said Wright, who split second place in San Antonio recently.
When Wright got his chance on Tokyo Bubbles Saturday night – they both delivered as Wright had a 90.75-point ride to win the long round.
“She bailed out of there and stayed super close; I think the judges like when the horses stay close to the bucking chutes like that,” Wright said. “I knew she would be good, and I just had to do my part and it worked out.”
Wright, who was fifth in the 2021 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $14,828, advanced to the eight-man semifinals, which will be at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
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The top four finishers in the semifinals move on to the Shoot-Out, where winners earn $100,000, second place earns $25,000, third place $10,000 and fourth place $5,000.
Event winners can earn a minimum of $100,000, with $50,000 counting toward the world standings.
“This win would be awesome,” Wright said. “You know it would be a good bump up in the world standings and take a little bit of the pressure off to get back to the Finals.”
Wright has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo every year since winning the 2016 PRCA | Resistol Rookie of the Year for saddle bronc riding. He will try and keep his momentum going Sunday.
“I love the spring run, we’re usually all over, but it’s easier to be away from home when you’re getting on good horses at good rodeos like this,” Wright said. “Having my family here is the biggest thing. It makes it easy when my wife (Cheyenne) gets to come and having my brothers here you don’t get quite as homesick and that’s nice.”
Courtesy of PRCA