For many years, prior to the change to an Oct. 1, start to the PRCA regular season, the new year kicked off at the Sandhills Stock Show & Rodeo in Odessa, Texas, meaning darn near every superstar from the sport’s history has competed inside Ector County Coliseum at some point.

Up until 2024, that had not yet included the youngest of the famous Wright clan, Statler.

The 20-year old bronc rider made his first trip to the West Texas stop on the PRCA Playoff Series count, taking the victory with an 87.5-point ride aboard Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Rawhide.

“It felt really good,” Wright said of the trip, which happened Jan. 5, and earned him a $4,563 payday. “That’s one of those horses you always want to get on.”

After two years inside the top 20 but not the top 15, Wright has a plan to add his name to the list of family members who have competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“I’m trying to hit those rodeos that are pretty good size rodeos, not wasting rodeos,” Wright said.

The big money payoff in Odessa fit that bill with the added bonus of its lead stock contractor – Beutler & Son Rodeo.

“Beutler horses usually fit my riding style really well,” Wright said. “I like going to get on Beutler horses whenever I can.”

The ride aboard Rawhide felt good to Wright and gave him a boost for the young 2024 season.

“The horse felt pretty flashy,” he said. “I did feel that I was in control most of the time.”

“I won’t say the whole time but most of the time,” he added with a laugh.

The win perfectly fit his 2024 strategy which he hopes lands him in Vegas in December.

“Just capitalizing on all the good ones, I do get drawn,” he said, adding, “shoot I’ve learned just in the last two years rodeoing, even when you’ve got one that you don’t think you can win on, if you have a good attitude about it, you’ve got a better chance of winning than you think.”

Much of that positivity is born of coming close to his goals in the past and a strong family backing throughout the season.

“I’ve learned a lot about staying positive, especially missing the Finals, as close as I’ve been the last two years,” he said. “I think both years I’ve missed it by less than $10,000.

“I love rodeoing with my brothers and having a dad that’s already pretty much been-there, done-that,” Wright admitted. “It’s nice to be able to call them when you’re struggling or get down on yourself.”

Just don’t expect too much coddling from the brutally honest bunch. Father Cody is a ProRodeo Hall of Famer and his brothers are eight-time PRCA World Champion Stetson, two-time world champ Ryder and five-time NFR qualifier Rusty.

“They always know what to tell you and they’re really blunt about it, which is good,” he laughed. “They’re not sugarcoating anything. They’ll tell you what you need to fix and how you need to fix it.”

Despite the tough love, Wright wouldn’t change a thing in his life.

“Rodeoing with my family makes it fun,” he said. “I love spending time with my family and my brothers and getting to ride bucking horses.”

“I’ve always dreamed of doing what I’m doing so I’m just out here living that dream.”

Other winners at the $261,041 rodeo were bareback rider Brayze Schill (87 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Nutrena’s Tic Tac); steer wrestler Tim Kemp (8.6 seconds on two head); team ropers Dustin Egusquiza/Levi Lord (7.8 seconds on two head); tie-down roper Haven Meged (7.3 seconds); breakaway roper Addie Weil (1.6 seconds); barrel racer Katie Halbert (14.14 seconds); steer roper Jess Tierney (52.1 seconds on four head); and bull rider Maverick Potter (88 points on Powder River Rodeo’s No. 183h).

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