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Stetson Wright claims first ProRodeo titles, all-around

Courtesy Joe Naiman

Stetson Wright became the latest member of the Wright family to win a ProRodeo event April 29, when he not only won the saddle bronc riding at the Lakeside (Calif.) Rodeo, April 27-29, but also won the bull riding and the all-around.

An 84.5-point ride on Western Rodeos’ Pandora was the highest saddle bronc riding score of the Lakeside Rodeo. The Milford, Utah, cowboy also posted an 82-point bull ride on Western Rodeos’ Tommy.

"It was awesome," Wright said. "I couldn't have drawn any better."

Although Wright had family support for his victory, several family members comprised his saddle bronc riding competition. His brother Rusty had the saddle bronc riding lead before Stetson rode, and the lead changed hands among three of his uncles during the Friday-night performance.

Jake Wright took the lead with a 74-point ride on Continental. CoBurn Bradshaw, who is married to one of Jake Wright's sisters, took the lead from his brother-in-law with a 78-point ride on Sister Hills. Jesse Wright, Jake's twin brother and Bradshaw's brother-in-law, led after Friday night after riding Last Hope for 78.5 points.

"I was happy with it," Jesse Wright said. "I got to finish it out pretty good."

Milford is about an eight-hour drive from Lakeside. The Wright twins and Bradshaw traveled together.

The Saturday-evening performance included a 79-point ride on Bar T Rodeo’s Continental by reigning Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion Ryder Wright and an 83-point ride by Rusty Wright on Bar T Rodeo’s General Cup. Ryder and Rusty are Stetson Wright's older brothers and Cody Wright's sons.

Stetson Wright became the final member of his family to hold the lead at the Lakeside Rodeo.

"It was wild," he said of his 84-point ride. "He bucked. He was just hard to ride."

Wright replaced his brother as the leader.

"I got lucky, I guess,” Stetson said.

Stetson Wright turned 18 in July, but he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the summer and did not return to riding until 2018. The Lakeside Rodeo was his second PRCA rodeo and the saddle bronc riding was his first PRCA win.

"I expect a lot of myself," Wright said.

Texas cowboy Tristan Mize scored 81 points on Western Rodeos’ Legend to hold the bull riding lead entering the final performance.

A wrap and a half to the left on Tommy was followed by a turn to the right, away from Wright's hand, but he stayed on for the required eight seconds.

"It felt really good," Stetson Wright said.

Stetson Wright traveled to Lakeside with his brother Statler, who is too young to ride in PRCA-sanctioned rodeos, and with Moody McCoy, who is Stetson Wright's best friend and who competed in the bull riding.

Wright's grandmother, Evelyn, was born in Long Beach, Calif., and lived in Fresno before moving to Utah when she was 11. Stetson Wright noted that winning his first rodeo in California, where his grandmother spent part of her childhood, had no special significance.

"They're all special no matter where you win," he said.

The other roughstock event was won by Nevada's Wyatt Denny; an 83-point ride April 27 on Bar T Rodeo’s Blues Clues was the high bareback riding score. A time of 9.3 seconds April 29 gave Witter Springs, Calif., roper Brush Minton the tie-down roping victory. Oklahoma steer wrestler Levi Rudd caught and turned over his bovine in 5.0 seconds April 28 to win the bulldogging event. Team roping partners Max Kuttler, of Montana, and Brandon Bates, of Sun City, Calif., had a time of 4.0 seconds April 28 to win that event. The April 28 barrel racing session included a winning run of 16.36 seconds by Tiany Schuster, who made the trip from Texas.

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