SAN ANGELO, Texas – Over the last 15 years, the Wright name has become synonymous with professional rodeo.
Cody Wright started it in 2008, when he won the first of his two saddle bronc riding world championships. That was followed by his little brother, Jesse, who claimed the gold buckle in 2012. A third brother, Spencer, was the world titlist two years later.
The next generation is already knee deep in the world title race. Cody’s second son, Ryder, is a two-time world champ, and third son, Stetson, may rearrange ProRodeo’s record books in his career. On Saturday night during the third performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, it was definitely a night for the Wrights.
Spencer Wright rode Macza Pro Rodeo’s Get Smart for 88 points to take the lead in saddle bronc riding, and he is followed in the standings by Cody’s oldest son, Rusty, and youngest son, Statler; Rusty was 85.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Manhatten Moon, and Statler was 84 points on Macza’s Honeymoon.
While he didn’t get on a bronc Saturday, Stetson Wright made his presence felt as the last cowboy of the night in bull riding. He matched moves with Carr’s Juicy for 88 points to take the lead, and the Wright family stands out on a night that was packed with some of the sport’s biggest stars inside Foster Communications Coliseum.
While they accounted for the most points the roughstock hands, there was some speed in the timed events, led by barrel racer Michelle Alley. The cloverleaf pattern of a barrel race is set up to test the speed and agility of some incredible horses.
Alley owns one in Seis Caress, a 10-year-old bay mare she calls Saucy, and together the duo outraced the pack Saturday afternoon during the second performance
“It felt really fast,” said Alley of Madisonville, Texas, who stopped the clock in 14.16 seconds to take the second-round barrel racing lead by nearly half a second. “She was running hard, and she smoked her barrels. (They were so close to the three barrels) I had to lift my leg for sure on the second, and I may have lifted my leg on all three” to make sure the barrels were left standing.
Alley also sits atop the aggregate race with a two-run cumulative time of 29.99 seconds. That’s two-tenths of a second faster than second place. That’s good news for the South Dakota-raised cowgirl, who moved to Texas to attend college and stayed.
She’s competed in San Angelo for several years, but 2021 was her first time to advance out of the first round into the second; this rodeo features unlimited entries for barrel racing, but only the top times return for the performances.
“Last year I did really well,” she said. “I won a little (under) $7,000. Prior to that, I had heck in the first round. In 2020, I tipped a barrel to win the first round; in 2019, I tipped a barrel to finish second. Last year was the first time I got to advance to the coliseum.”
Alley and Saucy posted a 15.83-second run in the opening round, which was just out of the money but still gave the tandem a good shot at making the championship round on April 15. It takes a fast horse and some good fortune to do that.
“I bought her off the racetrack as a 2-year-old,” Alley said of her prized mount. “I did all the training on her, and the last two years, I’ve been super close to making the NFR. We’ve just had some injuries that have kept us from making it.”
Only the top 15 ladies in the world standings at the end of the season advance to the National Finals Rodeo. Alley and Saucy finished 23rd a year ago and 19th in 2020.
“Saucy is sassy,” she said. “She is very dominant, very bossy. She’s a diva. She knows she’s pretty, and she acts like it.”
Saucy also lost a shoe off a front foot during the run, so that will be replaced before their next run in California in the coming days. Alley is already looking forward to the opportunity to return.
“It’s really exciting and fun to run there because the crowd is so loud,” Alley said. “San Angelo’s crowd is always so wonderful. Saucy and me really feed off the crowd. It makes me ride better and makes my horse run faster.”
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Seth Hardwick, 84 on Macza Pro Rodeo’s Dark Secret; 2. (tie) Chad Rutherford and Gavin French, 82; 4. Mike Solberg, 80.5; 5. Orin Larsen, 80; 6. Jacob Lees, 78; 7. Bill Tutor, 77; 8. Kelby Schneiter, 76.5; 9. Dean Thompson, 76; 10. Lane McGehee, 75; 11. (tie) Zack Brown, Strawbs Jones and Payton Lackey, 70.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cade Goodman, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Talon Roseland, Bryn Roy and Trell Etbauer, 3.8; 5. (tie) Dakota Eldridge and Justin Shaffer, 3.9; 7. (tie) Tory Jonson and Clayton Hass, 4.0. Second round leaders: 1. Stetson Jorgensen, 3.5 seconds; 2. Dirk Tavenner, 3.7; 3. (tie) Cameron Morman, Payden McIntyre and Clayton Hass, 3.9; 6. Landris White, 4.0; 7. Ringo Robinson, 4.1; 8. Bridger Anderson, 4.2. Average leaders: 1. Stetson Jorgensen, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Clayton Hass, 7.9; 3. Payden McIntyre, 8.1; 4. Dirk Tavenner, 8.2; 5. Landris White, 8.4; 6. Cade Goodman, 8.9; 7. Blake Mindemann, 9.0; 9. Jason Thomas, 9.3; 10. Bridger Anderson, 9.4; 11. Cody Harmon, 9.5; 12. Trell Etbauer 9.6.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) J.C. Yeahquo/L.J. Yeahquo and Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 3.9 seconds; 3. Caleb Smidt/Sergio Gonzales, 4.1; 4. Dawson Graham/Dillon Graham, 4.2; 5. Casey Tew/Brushton Minton, 4.5; 6. (tie) Wyatt Bray/Will Woodfin, Derrick Begay/Colter Todd and Andrew Livingston/Seth Smithson, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 3.5 seconds; 2. Cory Kidd/Lane Mitchell and Chace Thompson/Tyson Thompson, 3.8; 4. Chet Weitz/Jace Davis, 4.1; 5. Tucker Menz/D.J Dugger and Tanner James/Phoenix Everano, 4.3; 7. (tie) Jimmy Edens/Josh Patton and Jhett Trenary/Gralyn Elkins, 4.4. Average leaders: 1. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 9.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Kolton Schmidt/Wyatt Cox, 9.4; 3. Tanner James/Phoenix Everano, 9.5; 4. Wyatt Imus/Caleb Anderson, 9.6; 5. Andrew Livingston/Seth Smithson, 9.8; 6. Payden Emmett/Lucas Falconer, 10.2; 7. (tie) Kolby Krieger/Boogie Ray and Cinch Moody/Rich Skelton, 10.4; 9. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 12.5; 10. J.C. Yeahquo/L.J. Yeahquo, 12.6; 11. Wyatt Bray/Will Woodfin, 14.0; 12. Caleb Smidt/Sergio Gonzales, 14.2.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Spencer Wright, 88 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s Get Smart; 2. Rusty Wright. 85.5; 3. Statler Wright, 84; 4. (tie) Riggin Smith, Samuel Kelts and Creighton Curley, 83; 7. Zeke Thurston, 81.5; 8. Cauy Pennington, 80; 9. Isaac Diaz, 78.5; 10. Tanner Lockhart, 78; 11. Dawson Hay, 77.5; 12. Jacob Lewis, 77.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Milligan and Travis Rogers, 7.6 seconds; 3. Dakota Felton, 7.8; 4. Riley Wakefield, 8.0; 5. Cody McCartney, 8.1; 6. (tie) Weldon Watson and Matt Shiozawa, 8.2; 8. (tie) Cash Hooper, Blake Ash and Luke Potter, 8.3. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 7.5 seconds; 2. Trenton Smith. 7.7; 3. (tie) Cory Solomon and Ryle Smith, 7.9; 5. Trevor Hale, 8.0; 6. (tie) Tyler Milligan and Chet Weitz, 8.1; 8. (tie) J.D. McCuistion and Buck Take, 8.2. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Milligan, 15.7 seconds on two runs; 2. J.D. McCuistion, 16.7; 3. Dakota Felton, 16.8; 4. (tie) Luke Potter and Cody McCartney, 16.9; 6. (tie) Marcos Costa and Travis Rogers, 17.5; 8. Blake Deckard, 18.1; 9. Buck Tate, 18.3; 10. Walker Akins, 18.4; 11. Wyatt Imus, 18.5; 12. (tie) Kolt Henderson and Taylor Santos, 18.6.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Alley, 14.16 seconds; 2. Kailee Murdock, 14.21; 3. Josey Owens, 14.39; 4. Destri Davenport, 14.46; 5. (tie) Steely Steiner and Jamie Olsen, 14.60; 7. Kaitlin Schnuck, 14.64; 8. Jodye Smathers, 14.68; 9. Abby Phillips, 14.70; 10. Caroline Boucher, 14.71. Average leaders: 1. Michelle Alley, 29.99; 2. Destri Davenport. 30.19; Kailee Murdock, 30.22; 4. Jamie Olsen, 30.39; 5. Steeley Steiner, 30.54; 6. Josey Owens, 30.58; 7. Abby Phillips, 30.65; 5. Carly Taylor, 30.69; 9. Kaitlin Schnuck, 30.70; 10. Charlie Johnson, 30.73; 11. Caroline Bouchier, 30.90; 12. Jodye Smathers, 31.02.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Stetson Wright, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Juicy; 2. Tristen Hutchings, 84.5; 3. (tie) Jaron Sheehan and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84; 5. Garrett Wall, 82; 6. Seth Green, 77; no other qualified rides.