Ryder Wright had been waiting on this moment for almost two months.
Back in late June at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo, Wright drew Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Valley for his first-round ride in the saddle bronc competition. Their initial meeting went for 83.5 points, good enough to place Wright fifth in the round, but a stumble during the ride kept the ride from reaching its full potential.
“That’s a really awesome horse of Powder River’s. I definitely was looking forward to that matchup again someday,” Wright said.
Someday came to fruition in the finals of the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo as Wright’s rematch with Miss Valley resulted in an 88-point ride, good enough to win the round and help him secure the average title.
The victory is the latest in a string of big rides from the Beaver, Utah, cowboy since his return from injury. Wright was forced to sit out the tail end of June and a significant portion of July to recover from four broken ribs he sustained when a horse smashed him into the wall of a chute.
Ironically, his first ride on Miss Valley was one of his last before going out to recover.
Since coming back, the seven-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier has been on a tear. Wright has won more than $40,000 and picked up championships at Caldwell and Canby (Ore.). His victory in Caldwell was worth a little more than $8,500 in total.
“It’s always nice to be able to get wins at those bigger rodeos like that,” Wright said. “Being out there for that month while I was hurt kind of sunk me down there in the world standings, but we’re slowly making a climb back up.”
That climb in the PRCA | RAM World Standings has Wright back among the top 10 and continuing to make up lost ground.
After placing 10th in the world standings last year, Wright has his focus firmly set on chipping away at the standings and putting himself in position to make a lot of noise at NFR this December.
Between now and then, he’s working to maintain the pace of success he’s currently experiencing.
“I kind of had some trouble when I first came back, but I think we’ve got things squared away and I feel like I’ve got the ball rolling again,” Wright said. “They keep running good horses under me, that’s a big part of winning is drawing good horses, and I’ve been pretty lucky here the past few weeks, I’ve been drawing good. So hopefully I’ll keep that rolling.”
Other winners at the $392,858 Playoff Series Rodeo were all-around cowboy Brushton Minton ($7,026, tie-down roping and steer wrestling); bareback rider Taylor Broussard (174 points on two head); steer wrestler Stan Branco (13.2 seconds on three head); team ropers Tyler Wade/Wesley Thorp (15.7 seconds on three head); tie-down roper Haven Meged (25.8 seconds on three head); barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (50.90 seconds on three runs); bull rider Dustin Boquet (88.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Boo Ray).
courtesy of the PRCA