Spencer Wright being interviewed by Butch Thurman for EQI Radio Photo by Patricia Branan-Wendell
LAS VEGAS – The youngest is now first. Spencer Wright beat his older brothers and the rest of the world’s best saddle bronc riders to win Round 4 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo before a sellout crowd of 17,600 at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday.
At age 23, he is the youngest of four record-setting Wright brothers – the first set of four siblings ever to qualify for the Wrangler NFR, let alone all in the same year.
It is Spencer Wright’s first WNFR, and he is celebrating in fine fashion. He leads the average with 323 points on four head, and also tops all saddle bronc riders here this week with $40,150 earned in four rounds.
“This really is a dream come true,” said Wright, 23. “I’ve dreamed of winning several rounds at the NFR for a long time, so I’m tickled to have won my first one.”
The oldest of the Wright brothers, 37-year-old Cody, won world saddle bronc riding championships in 2008 and 2010, and has a dozen WNFR qualifications.
Twins Jesse and Jake Wright, 25, also have enjoyed success. Jesse has five WNFR qualifications and won a gold buckle in 2012, while Jake has earned three trips to the Finals.
“One of the four of us had to kick this off and win a round, and I’m glad it was me,” Spencer Wright said.
He rode for 84 points on Calgary Stampede’s Mata Fact, a half-point better than Cody DeMoss. Cody Wright took third in the round when he rode for 82 points.
“Being here with my brothers has been amazing, and who better to be here with than your family,” Spencer Wright said. “They’re here rooting for me and helping me out, and it’s been much easier to have them here with me. The first few days I just followed Jake around and learned the routine for myself.
“This has been a great experience, and I think this is something that’s going to fuel next season, because it’s been so great to be here.”
Mata Fact shot up in the air straight out of the chute, and made it tough on Wright early in the ride.
“It’s definitely more challenging to ride those kind of horses, but you have to ride them just like any other horse,” he said. “Out of the chute, I was just thinking to myself that I needed to hold my feet and not miss him out. I feel like I’m riding solid right now, and I just want to keep it up and see what happens.”
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
Round 4, Dec. 7
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah, 84 points on Calgary Stampede’s Mata Fact, $19,002; 2. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 83.5, $15,018; 3. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 82, $11,340; 4. Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D., 81, $7,969; 5. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 76.5, $4,904; 6. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., 75, $3,065; 7. Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., 73; 8. (tie) Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, and Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 71 each; 10. (tie) Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La.; Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa; Bradley Harter, Loranger, La.; Tyler Corrington, Hastings, Minn.; Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, and Dustin Flundra, Pincher Creek, Alberta, NS. World standings: 1. Taos Muncy, $141,437; 2. Cort Scheer, $139,499; 3. Cody Wright, $122,425; 4. Heith DeMoss, $120,771; 5. Jacobs Crawley, $120,450; 6. Wade Sundell, $105,942; 7. Spencer Wright, $100,415; 8. Tyler Corrington, $84,130; 9. Cole Elshere, $82,449; 10. Cody DeMoss, $81,701; 11. Chad Ferley, $81,674; 12. Jesse Wright, $77,495; 13. Bradley Harter, $74,836; 14. Dustin Flundra, $70,697; 15. Jake Wright, $67,764.