Stetson Wright Makes Big Splash in First-Ever San Angelo Appearance
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The youngest of Cody Wright's three sons on the pro rodeo circuit made a big splash at his first-ever San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo on Friday.
Stetson Wright, the 19-year-old younger brother of 2017 San Angelo and World Champion Ryder and 2014 San Angelo winner Rusty, rode United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days for 89 points and a tie with Aaron Williams in bull riding during the fifth performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
“I’m super excited,” Wright said with a beaming grin. “I love when this kind of stuff happens. I don’t even know what to say. I’m just pumped up and glad to be here healthy.”
Stetson had come into Friday after failing to post scores in his second run at Fort Worth and his first run at the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, Mississippi. After throwing his name in the running for the money at San Angelo, the native of Beaver, Utah, has his confidence back.
“It proves to me it only takes one ride to change everything,” Wright said.
Wright had no background on Happy Days. So he went and asked the contractor about the bull that had only been ridden once out of three tries prior to Friday night. The answer he got was simple.
“All he said was, ‘He’s mean,” Wright laughed.
What’s more impressive is Stetson’s ride came less than an hour after scoring 76 in saddle bronc riding, the family’s bread and butter, on Pickett Rodeo’s Hidden Freckles. Just being on the same hallowed dirt where his family had etched their name was special for the youngest Wright.
“Even though I was only 76, my saddle’s feeling good, everything’s feeling good,” he said. “I just keep going.”
But Stetson wasn’t the only Wright to put his name in the running at the 87th San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo on Friday. Ryder pulled into third place with an 84-point ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Red One.
Being back in San Angelo is almost like a second home for the 20-year-old who won it all in 2017.
“This rodeo has always treated me good,” Ryder said. “I’ve always drawn good horses here. So, it’s always treated me good. This is one of my favorite rodeos of the year.”
Water Valley alum and 2018 rookie tie down roper of the year Ty Harris came back to San Angelo on Friday. While the local 20-year-old didn’t jump to the top of the list in the second round, his time of 8.5 seconds put Harris in a tie with Tuf Cooper in seventh place in the second round with a chance to put his name in the running tomorrow during his second run.
“The first round, you don’t know what to expect,” Harris said. “You haven’t seen these calves, you haven’t seen the setup and everything. You don’t really know what to expect on what your run is. I’m really happy anytime I just get by. I like to get my name out there and speed it up as it goes along if it works out.”
The former Water Valley Wildcat basketball standout also sees the benefits of being a local kid in one of the top five rodeos in the world.
“[Other ropers] are all walking up to me, asking how awesome is it to come rope here,” Harris said. “Because a lot of those guys don’t have hometown rodeos that are like this. A lot of them have small rodeos that are in their hometown, but hardly anybody has a huge atmosphere, a huge calf roping town that’s their hometown. It’s pretty awesome to represent San Angelo as a hometown roper.
Harris, looking to build off a stellar debut year, has thoughts of Las Vegas in his 2019 plans. The Concho Valley cowboy knows the only way to get there is through the grind on the circuit.
“[I] just practice everyday,” Harris said. “It doesn’t matter if you won the last 10 rodeos, just stay humble and stay hungry, keep fighting and keep working.”
Montana cowboy Caleb Bennett put himself within striking distance of bareback riding leader Bill Tutor. The 11-year veteran saddled United Pro Rodeo's Pow Wow Rocks for 85.5 points and second place in the long round on Friday.
Add that to Bennett's current run at the short go in Fort Worth and the new Corvallis, Montana resident is having quite the start to the winter part of the season.
"It's huge," Bennett emphasized. "San Angelo, Fort Worth, a bunch more winter rodeos, San Antone, these are all rodeos you come to on the winter run to win at. If you win, you set yourself up for a lot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There's a chance to make the NFR, a chance to win world titles. So, having a good winter run, being able to come in, place at rodeos like San Angelo or have a chance to win San Angelo and the other ones down the road is just huge."
Pow Wow Rocks had bucked off half of his would-be riders in 2019. Bennett didn't know that much about the horse, but was glad he was one of the few to ride him.
"I knew that if I did my part, I had a chance to be top two or three in the round for sure," Bennett said. "I really figured if he had his day and I had mine, we could beat or push ole' Bill Tutor for that 88 and be around 89 or so. With that being said, I knew I had a chance. [Pow Wow Rocks] showed up."
The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo will continue with two performances on Saturday. The first will start at 1:00 p.m. and the second at 7:30 p.m.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Feb. 1-3, Feb. 8-10, Feb. 13-15 Bareback riding leaders: 1. Bill Tutor, 88 points on Lancaster and Jones’ Highway Man; 2. Caleb Bennett, 85.5; 3. (tie) Taylor Broussard and Jake Vold, 84; 5. (tie) Hunter Brasfield and David Peebles, 83; 7. Zach Hibler, 82; 8. Jesse Pope, 81; 9. Tony Barrington, 79; 10. Grant Denny, 78.5; 11. (tie) Waylon Guy Burgeois, Connor Hamilton and Steven Dent, 78.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.6 seconds; 2. Nelson Wyatt/Rich Skelton, 3.7; 3. Levi Simpson/Cole Davison, 3.8; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 3.9; 5. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, Manny Equsquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy and Tyler Waters/Brady Norman, 4.0; 8. Anthony Lucia/Wesley Moss, 4.1. Second round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Paul Eaves and Caleb Smidt/Will Woodfin, 3.6; 4. Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 3.7; 5. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, Lathen Bryant/Morgan McVay and Shane Phillip/John Phillip, 3.8; 8. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 3.9. Average leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 7.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 8.1; 3. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 9.5; 4. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 9.8; 5. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy, 10.1; 6. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 11.5; 7. Lane Santos Karney/Dillon Wingereid, 11.9; 8. Ryan Reed/Monty Joe Petska, 13.4; 9. Cory Clark/Lane Mitchell, 13.7; 10. Jake Miller/Caleb Anderson, 14.1; 11. Nelson Wyatt/Rich Skelton, 15.1; 12. J.B. James Jr./Brock Hanson, 15.3.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. (tie) Cody DeMoss, on Lancaster and Jones’ Total Equine Angel Fire, and Colt Gordon, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal, 87 points; 3. Ryder Wright, 84; 4. (tie) Preston Burr and Wade Sundell, 83; 6. (tie) Aaron Lide and Wyatt Casper, 82; 8. (tie) Tate Owens, Hawkins Boyce, Jake Wright and CoBurn Bradshaw, 81; 12. Josh Davison, 79.5.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Jake Pratt, 7.0 seconds; 2. Michael Otero, 7.1; 3. Kyle Lucas, 7.4; 4. Blair Smith, 7.5; 5. Tuf Cooper, 7.6; 6. (tie) Blane Cox, John Douch and Bryson Sechrist, 7.7. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Justin Smith and Bradley Bynum, 7.2 seconds; 3. (tie) Cimarron Boardman and Jesse Clark, 7.6; 5. Brushton Minton, 7.87; 6. Cody Huber, 7.9; 7. (tie) Rhen Richard, Colt Papy and Michael Otero, 8.1; 4. (tie) Tyson Durfey and Blake Ash, 8.3; 6. Ryle Smih, 8.4; 7. (tie) Tuf Cooper 8.5; 8. (tie) Haven Meged and Riley Pruitt, 8.6. Average leaders: 1. Michael Otero, 15.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Jesse Clark, 15.5; 3. Jake Pratt, 15.9; 4. Tuf Cooper, 16.1; 5. Haven Meged, 16.5; 6. Hunter Herrin, 16.6; 7. Blake Ash, 16.7; 8. Bradley Bynum, 17.1; 9 Trenton Smith, 17.8; 10. Cody Huber, 18.0; 11. Ryle Smith, 18.8; 12. Shad Mayfield, 18.9.
Bull riding leaders: 1. (tie) Aaron Williams, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tequila Worm, and Stetson Wright, on United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days, 89 points; 3. Brady Portenier, 87; 4. Rorey Maier, 85; 5. (tie) Cole Meloncon and Riker Carter, 84; 7. Aaron Pass, 83.5; 8. (tie) Dave Mason and Wyatt Edwards, 83; 10. Scottie Knapp, 82.5; 11. (tie) Parker Breding, Koby Radley and Lane Nobles, 82.