FORT WORTH, Texas – Just days shy of his 24th birthday, Resistol cowboy Ryder Wright has established himself as one of the premier saddle bronc riders in ProRodeo.
He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2016 and immediately qualified for the first of six straight trips to the National Finals Rodeo. In his inaugural year, he put on a show, winning five of 10 go-rounds. He followed with world championships in 2017 and 2020; big scores are nothing new to the Milford, Utah, cowboy.
He’s also a two-time winner of The American, which paid him $100,000 each year – he was 88.5 points to claim the title on the final day of the 2019 event at AT&T Stadium, then was 91.25 points to win it a year ago.
During the first round at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth on Friday night, he posted a 90.5-point ride on Korkow Rodeo’s Onion Ring. Now, he’ll have a shot to stake claim to a third win inside “Jerry World,” home of the Dallas Cowboys.
“Having won it twice, you have a good idea of what to expect when you get there,” Wright said.
The American is unique in that it not only offers a big payday to the winners, but it also provides a big incentive to those who didn’t find their way into the field by finishing among the top 10 in the 2021 PRCA world standings. Six of the bronc riders in Friday’s round had earned their way there by competing at a series of qualifying events.
If a qualifier happens to win his event, he will be eligible for a piece of the $2 million side pot. There is a chance some fortunate cowboy could walk away from Arlington, Texas, with $2.1 million in one-day earnings.
Resistol bronc rider Wyatt Casper knows all about that. He won The American as a qualifier in 2020, one of two to do that, and earned more than $600,000. Casper and Wright will be joined by Wright’s uncle, Spencer Wright, and second-generation Canadian bronc buster Dawson Hay when the final day of The American takes place, starting at noon Sunday.
“The money’s great,” Ryder Wright said. “That’s why we do it.”