The Wright family are among some of the best saddle bronc riders in the world. This family has won the world title six times, and this year, Stetson was crowned the All-Around Champion due to his saddle bronc and bull riding skills.
Left to right: Ryder, Rusty and Stetson Wright
All five relatives – Stetson, Rusty, Ryder, Jesse, and Spencer were raised in Milford, Utah, with their family. Stetson, Ryder, and Rusty grew up playing sports and watched their father, Cody Wright, rodeo. Cody, who is also Jesse and Spencer's brother, has been a huge influence on them growing up as he is a two-time PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider. They said, “Rodeo has always been our main focus growing up.”
A year’s work of rodeoing pays off at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. With 120 contestants, only the top 15 qualify to compete. This year, four out of 15 saddle bronc riders were from the Wright family, and Stetson made his NFR debut with bull riding. After riding out the rest of the year, we asked each member of the Wright clan about his experiences and training. Meet the Wright family.
2019 PRCA All-Around World Champion
Credit: Stetson Wright
2009 Resistol Rookie of the Year and 2012 PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider
Credit: Jesse and Aubrey Wright
2014 PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider
Credit: Spencer Wright
2016 Resistol Rookie of the Year and 2017 PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider
Credit: Ryder and Cheyenne Wright
Lucchese boots: Priscilla
2015 Resistol Rookie of the Year, 2015 Wilderness Circuit Finals Year End Champion, and 2016 RAM National Circuit Finals Champion
Credit: Rusty Wright
How old were you when you first learned to ride? Who taught you?
Stetson: I was 10 or 12 years old when I started riding steers.
Rusty: My dad taught me when I was 15.
Ryder: I got on my first bucking horse when I was 14 years old. My dad, Cody Wright, and Grandpa Bill taught me pretty much everything I know!
Jesse: I was about 14 when I got on my first bronc. My dad and brothers helped me get going.
Spencer: I started when I was 15. I would say a combination of people such as my dad and brothers – they need most of all the credit!
Stetson: My brothers and I just practiced a lot riding bucking horses.
Rusty: When I first started, I was getting on at least five bucking horses a week. I got on every day and sometimes twice a day. Now, I go to enough rodeos through the year that the rodeo doubles and training are keeping me sharp.
Ryder: We would get on at least twice a week when I was in high school in the practice pen and then go to rodeos during the weekend.
Jesse: Spur board, buckin' machine, riding broncs, and gym.
Spencer: Training is living, breathing, and constantly trying to get better at saddle bronc riding whether that been working out, writing this for board/bucking machine or getting on enough practice horses to make you collapse!
How long did it take until you felt comfortable and confident? Did it take some time? Were you a natural?
Stetson: It took a few years to gain confidence for me. It was very hard to get the bronc riding timing down.
Rusty: It took me two years until I started to feel confident. I was nowhere near a natural.
Ryder: I’ve always told myself I can ride anything they can run under me! (Not always the outcome.)
Jesse: It took me a couple years before I was really confident.
Spencer: It took a couple of years for me. I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to bronc riding. I want to make a perfect ride every time. Once I started giving myself a little bit of slack, things starting to click a little more and it actually went better for me!
How did you know when you wanted to ride professionally?
Stetson: I’ve wanted to my whole life for as long as I can remember.
Rusty: When I was a little kid watching my dad ride at the NFR.
Ryder: I’ve never wanted to do anything else after watching my dad win two world titles!
Jesse: I always wanted to. It was a goal I set when I started riding broncs.
Spencer: My brothers all rode professionally, so it was pretty easy for me to decide. But I love bronc riding and would not want to do anything else!
What is it like to compete against your own family?
Stetson: Competing with my two brothers is by far the coolest thing about rodeoing for me.
Rusty: It’s a great experience having your best friends around. It’s something not many guys get to experience.
Ryder: It is awesome! I don’t really feel that I am competing against them. I’m competing against the horse I drew! Having them there for support and help is very special and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Jesse: It’s fun! It makes it not so lonely when you’re away from home. It also makes you want it more cause you’re traveling with the best.
Spencer: I love and actually don’t think we really compete against one another; though, we more compete WITH one another!
Credit: Ryder Wright
Tell us about your pre-ride routine.
Stetson: I don’t really have a routine. I just try staying relaxed and hangout with my brothers.
Rusty: I drink a Spark energy drink and make sure I put my right boot on before my left. Nothing too crazy or special.
Ryder: I don’t really do anything special. I try not to think about it too much. I feel like I do better if I don’t sit there and overthink it.
Jesse: Change, stretch 2-3 times, figure out rein, and what side my horse is out.
Spencer: Stretch a little then prepare my gear. Not much to my ritual!
What’s going through your mind during that 8 second ride?
Stetson: Not much goes through my mind when I ride. I try to have a clear mind.
Rusty: Lift, stay back, and spur.
Ryder: Stay back and lift, and keep throwing your feet to the front!
Jesse: Good mark out, lift, stay back, be aggressive, and spur every jump.
Spencer: Usually I’m thinking, “STAYBACK and CHARGE!”
Credit: Jesse Wright
What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Stetson: Winning the all-around world title.
Rusty: Taking 2nd at the NFR in 2018 or winning Calgary in 2019.
Ryder: Winning my 2017 World Championship
Jesse: Winning my first all-around world title in 2012.
Spencer: Winning the all-around world title in 2014.
Tell us about some of the equipment you need to make that ride.
Stetson: All the equipment I use in my opinion is what I need I really like having a good rope and good spurs mainly. For safety, the helmet and vest are the best.
Rusty: My hat is a El Patron 30x Stetson. My saddle is a G bar G. I always ride with a vest, and I use a Wright Western Ride Right vest. Our gear bag is filled with our chaps, vest, rosin, tape, boots, shin guards, and our rein.
Ryder: Boots, spurs, chaps, vest, rein, cowboy hat, and bronc saddle.
Jesse: Association saddle, halter, hack rein, vest, chaps, boots, spurs, hat, and long sleeve tapes optional.
Spencer: My bronc saddle is the most important obviously, and there’s my spurs in my bronc rein! Both of these things help me get ahold of the horse. Stay back and lift and stay in control!
This year at NFR, we were so excited you wore Lucchese boots. How do you feel when you put your Lucchese boots on?
Stetson: I was very excited to wear Lucchese boots because they are the best boot around! And they are comfortable and awesome!
Rusty: I feel like a cowboy.
Ryder: I feel like the classiest guy in the world!
Jesse: Like the rhinestone cowboy.
Spencer: I loved them instantly! They are the best put together boots that I have ever owned and the best looking too!
Credit: Jesse and Aubrey Wright
Lucchese boots: Kenneth and Avery
Credit: Spencer and Kallie Wright
Lucchese boots: Roy and Priscilla
Do you have any exciting news to share with your fans?
Stetson: I just became an all-around world champion!
Rusty: We are adding another baby to our family in February.
Ryder: 2020, I’m coming for you!
Jesse: Texas winter run is about to kick off, and I can’t wait to see you down there at the big shows!
Spencer: Yes! I am trying to win every rodeo I go to this year, and I’m working on becoming a 2x world champ!
To learn more about the Wright family, follow @2genwrightbrothers on Instagram.