FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 8, 2014)— by Johna Cravens – Rusty Wright of Milford, Utah, is just 18 years old, but he’s quickly excelling at the family business. His father Cody Wright, 36, is a two-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider and five of his uncles are also top bronc riders.
Both father and son qualified for the final round of the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo® Saturday night with Rusty ranked fifth and Cody first. Rusty climbed on Rafter G Rodeo’s War Admiral and scored 83 points to tie for the lead in the championship round and move into the overall lead with 240 total points.
When his father began the final ride of the round, Rusty still held the lead. Cody rode a difficult, ducking bronc named Shady Cat for 81 points, giving him 243 total points, his second consecutive Fort Worth saddle bronc riding championship, and total winnings of $11,088.
Cody Wright said this was a special moment. “It’s just like winning first twice,” Wright said of Rusty’s accomplishment. “I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Rusty Wright said “I’ve been dreaming about it since I started riding bucking horses. It went better than expected.”
While Rusty Wright didn’t win quite as much as his dad, he still won $9,124, bringing the family’s take-home pay from the 16-day, 29-performance rodeo to more than $20,000.
While the Wrights had the biggest family winnings, Shelly Anzick of Livingston, Mont., was the biggest individual money winner. She won $15,126 after winning the second round of barrel racing, the final round, and the championship. Anzick’s total time of 49.87 edged Shelley Morgan of Canton, Texas, by a single hundredth of a second to win the championship.
Steven Peebles of Redmond, Ore., was the bareback riding leader coming into Saturday night. With only three cowboys left to ride, Bill Tutor of Huntsville, Texas, took the lead with 87 points on Spark Daddy. Then, three-time world champion Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, tied Tutor’s score on Dirty Rags. Peebles was the final competitor. His smooth ride on Lil’ Devil was also scored at 87 points, giving Peebles the championship with a total of 328 points.
Seth Brockman of Wheatland, Wyo., made a good start on qualifying for his second National Finals Rodeo (NFR). Brockman held the lead in steer wrestling and won the final round with a 4.1-second run. He earned nearly $13,000 for his 12.6 seconds of work in the arena.
Drew Horner of Plano, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II of Columbus, Kan., won both the final round of team roping (5.4 seconds) and the overall championship $6,638. A big win at San Antonio last year helped the duo qualify for their first NFR and their Fort Worth win in 2014 should help them return to Las Vegas.
Former collegiate champion Chant DeForest of Wheatland, Calif., was the winner of the tie-down roping. His time of 8.4 seconds bumped eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield to second place in the final round and gave DeForest the roping championship.
Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah, was the only bull rider to make three qualified rides and won the championship with 234 points. Frost, whose cousin was world champion bull rider and rodeo legend Lane Frost, scored 81 points in the finals on Lancaster and Pickett Rodeo’s Page’s Edge. Four-time world champion J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, won the final round with an 87 score on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s American Ride.
Bareback Riding – Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 328 points, $10,879
Steer Wrestling – Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 12.6 seconds, $12,943
Team Roping – Drew Horner, Plano, Texas/Buddy Hawkins, II, Columbus, Kan., 15.9 seconds, $11,109 each.
Saddle Bronc Riding – Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 243 points, $11,088
Tie-Down Roping – Chant DeForest, Wheatland, Calif., 26.6 seconds, $14,772
Women’s Barrel Race – Shelly Anzick, Livingston, Mont., 49.87, $15,126
Bull Riding – Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah, 234 points, $8,752