Historically, aviation has thrived on the innovative work of the Wright brothers. Currently, pro rodeo thrives on marketing six bronc-riding brothers with the last name of Wright.
These Wright brothers are from Milford, Utah, and four of them were in Fort Worth this weekend to compete in the Stock Show Rodeo.
Cody Wright, 35, is a two-time saddle bronc world champion. Jesse Wright, 23, is the defending world champion. His twin Jake Wright, 23, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for the first time last year. Alex Wright, 25, is a former College National Finals Rodeo qualifier.
When the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show at the Fort Worth rodeo concluded its fifth of 30 performances Saturday night at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, Cody Wright was ranked No. 1 in saddle bronc-riding average with a two-ride score of 156. Jesse Wright was ranked first in the first round after turning in an 81.
Cody and Jake Wright are among a family of 13 children, seven boys and six girls. Six of the seven brothers are at least 18 (the minimum age for PRCA membership) and bust saddle broncs on the pro circuit.
Cody Wright said he thrives on traveling with close family members.
"It's really encouraging to have great traveling partners," he said. "They're all winners in my book. When we're on the road, the same person usually doesn't do good every time. So, everybody is good about lifting everybody up and keeping everybody happy and positive and working hard to get to where we want to go."
Saddle bronc riding draws less participation in the junior ranks because it's more challenging to learn. Unlike bull riding or bareback riding, a rider does not have a stationary rigging handle to hang onto. Instead, a cowboy grips a loose buck rein and spurs the horse from its shoulders to the back of the saddle, jump for jump.
The Wright brothers grew up in ranching and honed their rodeo skills in the junior and collegiate rodeo ranks. Their father, Bill, competed in high school and college rodeos and encouraged his children to participate.
"We've ridden saddle horses and colts and have done ranching work throughout our whole lives," Cody Wright said. "I think that helps to throw all that in the mix. When you've been around horses and livestock, it helps you be able to get the best [riding] trip out of a bronc so you can win."
Cody Wright, the eldest of the seven brothers and who has PRCA earnings of more than $2 million, won world titles in 2008 and 2010. His world championship season in '08 was chronicled by Southern Utah University filmmakers who shot a documentary called Born To Ride.
Last year, Jesse Wright clinched the world title after earning $93,789 at the NFR and $226,887 for the year.
Throughout the regular season, the Wright brothers travel together to rodeos throughout North America.
"I have a lot of good friends that I would like to travel with, but there's nothing better than traveling with my brothers," Jesse Wright said. "You don't get nearly as homesick when you're gone from home for 2 1/2 months."