Stetson Wright – Milford, Utah ($152,422)
First-time WNFR qualifier
2019 World Champion
There is another member of the rodeoing Wrights at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. His family members have ridden in the Thomas and Mack Center in the saddle bronc riding, Stetson is the first one to qualify in the bull riding.
He’s also the first one to be listed in the all-around world standings – where he’s in first place – and will be the reason the Wright family will be in their seats after the saddle bronc riding and stay at the rodeo until the very end. If he remains there through the NFR, not only will he be the first Wright to win that title, he will be the first rough stock competitor to win it since Ty Murray won his last championship in 1998, one year before Stetson was born.
Stetson is not the most patient person in the world, he knows what he wants and will do everything in his power to get it, and he wants it now. His father, Cody, knew that as soon as Stetson turned 18, he would be joining the PRCA. That was a big problem for Stetson’s parents because he was still in high school.
He managed to juggle classes and high school rodeos and go to a few pro rodeos on his permit and graduate fulfilling his parent’s wishes. He won over $70,000 last year competing in bull riding and bronc riding, then in August in Kansas, he got stepped on and had to sit on the bench for a while.
He qualified for the PRCA Permit Challenge last December and competed in both events there, winning the all-around and bull riding, then headed over to watch his brothers and uncles compete in the Thomas and Mack Center. He hasn’t missed a performance at the NFR since he was four years old. Cody’s first of 13 NFR qualifications was in 2003.
After being hurt last fall, Stetson’s finances were running low. It taught him a lot about managing money. He had about $100 to his name when he entered the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo. He got $4,144 in the bull riding there and the quest for an NFR qualification started.
He did something in July that none of his family has ever accomplished. He won a buckle at Wyoming’s Cheyenne Frontier Days. He and the family are hoping that is a preview of things to come. He won the bull riding and the all-around championships at the “Daddy of ‘em All.”
After that big win, Stetson was in front of Sage Kimzey in the world standings. The next week, he had a wreck in the arena at Dodge City, Kansas that sent him right to the hospital.
He had broken his jaw and had to have surgery to fix it. He came back in the saddle bronc riding first and as soon as doctors would let him, he was getting on bulls too. He set an arena at Puyallup, Washington with a 93.5-point ride in September and finished the season in 22nd.
Along with his family, Stetson’s fiancé will be in the audience. They are expecting a baby girl in January and regardless of what happens in the rodeo arena, they have a lifetime of celebrations ahead of them.