He hails from the Wilderness Circuit in Utah and from a champion bloodline of rodeo competitors… Meet Ryder Wright, son of the world champion saddle bronc rider Cody Wright, brother to the reigning 2016 RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo saddle bronc champion Rusty Wright, and nephew of two-time RNCFR saddle bronc champion Jesse Wright and professional rodeo competitors Jake Wright and Alex Wright.
Just looking at this family’s rodeo pedigree, you can tell that it’s pretty unique. Riding saddle bronc at the age of 19, Ryder Wright is blazing a trail, making a standalone name for himself and making rodeo history wherever he goes.
“I’ve always wanted to do this. I have watched my dad do this my whole life and it’s what I wanted to do,” says Ryder.
His personal goal in 2016 was to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. His lifelong dream is becoming a world champion saddle bronc rider. Not only did Ryder qualify for his first WNFR last year, he made history becoming only the second person ever to win four back-to-back go-rounds at the WNFR.
“Being at the National Finals [Rodeo] was crazy. I’ve been there every year since 2003 watching everyone compete in my family. To be there and finally ride, it was a dream come true,” says Ryder.
We asked Ryder to share his thoughts on winning four back-to-back nights at the WNFR. He says, “It’s something real special. It’s something you want and hope for but I didn’t plan on it actually happening. I wanted it to, then when it did, it was pretty crazy.”
Throughout a rodeo year, Ryder typically drives to each rodeo traveling alongside Cody, Rusty, and another Wright brother, Spencer. They try to split up the milage between their rigs and only fly when they have to. In his downtime, his family practices together as much as they can. Ryder will get on bucking horses at their family’s home. He also practices on bucking machines and tries to stay in shape.
This year during the RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo, Jesse won the average and Ryder won the year-end title. Both of them will be heading to Kissimmee to compete at the 2017 RNCFR next weekend. This is the first time Ryder has qualified for the RNCFR.
“I don’t know exactly what to expect down there. I am looking forward to trying to win that $20,000 RAM voucher, that’d be nice. I have a fetish for trucks, so another would be pretty nice. I’ve also heard great things about the livestock,” he says of his upcoming trip to Kissimmee.
One might think that being in a family with so many members competing in the same event, sibling rivalry is a given, but Ryder says, “You aren’t really competing against each other, but rather your own horse. When you get a great bucking horse, it’s like sitting back in a rocking chair.”
Ryder hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and one day become a saddle bronc world champion. “My dad, Cody, has been riding professionally since ‘98 – almost 20 years. He rides well and rides consistently. He’s the greatest bronc rider I’ve ever seen. His attitude towards everything is always positive, and he keeps us positive. He would give you the shirt off his back if he knew you needed it,” Ryder says of his father.