Second Home: Wright Family Continues to Challenge Field at San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The Wright family name carries a lot of weight in the world of pro rodeo, but maybe nowhere more so than San Angelo, where the family has had tremendous luck over the last seven years.
The vast family from cattle-ranchers Bill and Evelyn Wright spans 13 children, 37 grandkids and a handful of great grandchildren. It just so happens that five of those 13 children grew up to be some of the best saddle bronc riders in the world with 29 National Finals Rodeo qualifications and four World Titles between them.
One of those five, Cody Wright, helped raise three more world class rodeo cowboys in Rusty, Ryder and Stetson.
“My dad started a really cool name for all of us,” Stetson said. “He kept our family with [rodeo], kept making us practice. It’s been awesome.”
Now the trio has been on the road for a little over a month to begin the winter run at rodeos like the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, the Fort Worth Stock Show and rodeo, San Angelo, San Antonio and Jackson, Mississippi. After missing last year’s winter run with a knee injury, Stetson is just relishing the opportunity to be out with his brothers during the busiest time of the season.
“I love all of it,” the 19-year-old Stetson said. “I don’t feel like it’s ever going to get old. I love driving, riding. I love every bit of it.
The trio grew up watching their dad win rodeos like the inaugural San Angelo Cinch Chute Out in 2012.
“It’s awesome,” Ryder said of being able to share moments like that. “Every little kid wants to grow up to be like their dad. But to be able to come out here and compete in the same rodeos he has all his life is pretty cool.”
So, it’s only natural that the humble family sees San Angelo as a second home. Rusty and Ryder have each won here in addition to their dad’s Cinch Chute Out win.
“This is honestly one of my favorite rodeos on this winter run,” said Rusty, who’s scheduled to run during Saturday night’s performance. “I just get excited pulling into the parking lot out there because every year I have luck here … There’s good horses here. So, if you make a good ride, you’ll win some money.”
After an 89-point bull ride last night, Stetson is in the running to be the latest in the Wright’s winning ways in San Angelo. His lead-tying run came after a low-scoring run in saddle bronc riding of the fifth performance.
While debuts like that are common for the Wrights, the 19-year-old still couldn’t help but be excited after missing 2018’s rodeo with an ACL tear.
“I love it when this kind of stuff happens,” Stetson grinned after the ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days.
It’s commonplace to see Ryder and Rusty dueling it out in saddle bronc. Last year, Rusty and Ryder were each at the top of the list during the long round.
They wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love for me and my brothers and the rest of my family to be going at it for every rodeo,” Rusty said. “Every year, it seems like me and Ryder do good here in San Angelo and battle like last year with Wade Sundell. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Winning the San Angelo rodeo has spelled long-term success for the Wrights.
In 2014, Rusty won San Angelo before going on to win rounds four, seven and eight at the National Finals in 2015. Ryder debuted and won at San Angelo in 2017. He would go on to win the world that same year.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” said Rusty, the oldest of Cody’s three sons. “Growing up, we’d always go out and get on the bucking barrel and act like we were at the big show like we are now. It’s surreal that we’re here now and living our dream that we dreamed when we were little.”
While Cody receives a lot of thanks, the 41-year-old cowboy is taking time to enjoy some things he missed while Rusty and Ryder growing up. In fact, Cody is back in Utah watching his youngest son, Statler, wrestle for Milford High School.
“That’s something he never got to do with me, Ryder or Stetson,” Rusty said. “He had to miss that because he was here in San Angelo when we were in the state finals. He gets to do that and I think he’s kinda liking it.”
Rusty and his uncle, Spencer, will take to the Coliseum dirt on Saturday at the 7:30 p.m. performance of the rodeo.