At 19 years old, Ryder Wright is the reigning world champion saddle bronc rider.
The Milford, Utah, cowboy clinched the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world title after earning $185,577 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, which helped him finish the year with $284,938.
While competing at the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Super Shootout Rodeo Thursday night, Wright demonstrated the same type of aggressive riding style that enabled him to win the gold buckle.
Wright, who represented the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo, clinched the title after turning in a lofty final score of 88.5 atop a bronc at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
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Wright busted a bronc named Delta Dawn, which is owned by the J Bar J Rodeo Co. Wright said the bronc jumped high and helped him earn the higher score.
“He was flashy,” Wright said of Delta Dawn. “That’s what the judges like to see.”
Wright earned $10,000 for the first place finish.
CoBurn Bradshaw, who represented the San Antonio Rodeo, and Jacobs Crawley, who rode for RodeoAustin, tied for second after each cowboy turned in scores of 88.
In bareback riding, Clint Laye, who represented the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, clinched the title with a score of 90 aboard a bronc named Onion Ring. Tyler Nelson, who represented the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo, finished second with an 87.
The steer wrestling title race was close with only five one hundredths of a second separating the first and second place. Tyler Waguespack, the PRCA’s 2016 champion bulldogger who represented RodeoHouston, clinched the title with a time 3.97 seconds. Rowdy Parrott, who represented the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, finished second with a 4.02.
In barrel racing, former National Finals Rodeo qualifier Kassie Mowery of Dublin who represented the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo, clinched the title after turning in a 16.651. Carolyn Boucher, who represented the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver, finished second with a 16.927.
In bull riding, Shane Proctor who represented RodeoHouston, clinched the title with an 88. He was the only cowboy who stayed on in the final round.
Proctor’s bull riding victory helped RodeoHouston clinch the team title.
The Shootout Rodeo offered competitors a $100,000 purse. Each single event winner received $10,000 and the second place finisher earned $4,000.
The Shootout rodeo format has become popular in recent years at the larger stock shows such as the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo in February. Like the San Angelo stock show, the Fort Worth organizing committee features a long-running, traditional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show. But organizers also feature a Shootout rodeo to offer fans an alternative type of rodeo during the annual stock show.
The Fort Worth Stock Show is 23 days, while the traditional PRCA rodeo, which begins Friday night, is 16 days. As a result, organizers feature other shows such as Cowboys of Color Rodeo, the Bulls’ Night Out and the Shootout Rodeo in an attempt to offer fans more variety.
Fort Worth organizers first opted to feature the Shootout rodeo four years ago. Unlike the PRCA show, which features the seven events such as tie-down roping and team roping, the ShootOut Rodeo features five events. They are bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing.
Each event at the Shootout Rodeo featured eight competitors. Each rider represented one of eight rodeos, a high-profile rodeo that the competitor won or finished strongly in last year. Fallon Taylor, who won the 2017 Fort Worth Show barrel-racing title, was on the Fort Worth rodeo team.
The other rodeos that advanced competitors to Fort Worth’s Super Shootout Rodeo were in Austin, Calgary, Houston, San Angelo, Denver, Reno, Nevada, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
During Thursday’s Fort Worth Stock Show Super Shootout, each of the eight riders in each event competed in a first round. When the round concluded, the top four advanced to a final round. During the final round, the rider with the highest score or the fastest time from two rounds won a $10,000 check.
Throughout the rodeo, competitors were interviewed in the arena by either 1988 world all-around champion Dave Appleton or 1973 Miss Rodeo America Pam Minick.