FORT WORTH, Texas –
PRCA Press Release Feb 6, 2017 Saddle bronc rider Jake Wright held down the fort by winning the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, for the second year in a row.
“A lot of guys go their whole career hoping to win that one, and I am pumped to win it another year,” Wright said. “I’m stoked – at a loss for words. Growing up, I saw Cody (Wright, Jake’s older brother) win it many times (2011, 2013-14). Watching him do good, I wanted the same success, so I went in there hoping for the best.”
The 27-year-old Milford, Utah, cowboy improved on his 2016 Fort Worth win by 4.5 points, riding for 255.5 points on three head, an arena record.
“I think I rode better this year,” Wright said. “(ProRodeo Hall of Famer) Shawn Davis said ‘the day you have a perfect ride, you might as well hang up your saddle.’ I told (ProRodeo Hall of Famer) Billy Etbauer, when I was 19 or 20, that ‘I think I have this figured out,’ and he said, ‘call me when you do.’
“I’ve always thought about that – keep striving to be better – and I want to win the world championship something fierce.”
Wright was battling the flu while competing, but luck was on his side when it came to the draw, as he’d ridden J Bar J’s Special Time during Round 3 of the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“He bucks hard, and a lot of guys don’t like him, but I get along with him really good,” Wright said. “I didn’t know what I had until I got here, and when I looked at the sheet I was like ‘heck yeah.'”
Wright won the average by 1.5 points by placing seventh in the first round with an 83 and then splitting the win in Round 2 and the final round.
“I had a good attitude and was pumped to be in the short round,” Wright said. “When you are in the short round in Fort Worth you might as well have fun like at the (National) Finals, just keep doing what you did to get there.”
Wright got a call from two-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Taos Muncy shortly after his win at Fort Worth.
“Taos was being funny and asked if they were going to make a statue of me at the rodeo, and I said I’d be alright with it,” Wright said. “Fort Worth has been good to me my whole career, and I love going to that rodeo. The greats have rode in that same building, on that same dirt.”
Wright was eighth in the 2016 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings, and he’s off to an identical start to 2017, so he has his eyes set on what would be his sixth-consecutive WNFR.
“That buckle is in my sights every year,” Wright said.
Winning Fort Worth has given Wright a $13,998 boost in the 2017 world standings.
“The winter run is just kicking off, and now the fun really begins,” Wright said. “It always gives you a boost to get on a roll in the winter – you get good confidence and you are riding good. This man is just starting to catch on fire.”
Other winners at the $665,546 rodeo were bareback rider Tim O’Connell (336 points on four head), and bull rider Dave Mason (235.5 on three head).
Bill Tutor won the Lake Charles bareback riding title with a 90-point score on Korkow Rodeo’s Pilsey Power, tying him with Winn Ratliff and Wyatt Bloom – who scored 90 on HiLo Pro Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez this weekend at the McAlester (Okla.) Pro Rodeo – for the highest-scored ride of the 2017 season. Bull rider Tristan Mize had an 89.5-point ride on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Red Cloud to win the SW District Fat Stock Show & Rodeo (Lake Charles, La.). That was tied for the third highest-scored ride of 2017 season with Cole Melancon’s 89.5-point ride on Sutton Rodeos’ Judas Jan. 28 in Rapid City, S.D., which won the Division 2 Xtreme Bulls event.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The beat goes on.
Other winners at the $92,800 rodeo were Team Coors bareback rider Orin Larsen (86 points on C5 McDonald’s Spit Fire), Team Justin Boots saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston (87.5 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Chuckulator),) and Team RAM bull rider Cole Melancon (89 points on Burch Rodeo’s Alabama High Test).
News & Notes from the rodeo trail
The St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo
announced Feb. 3 the hiring of its first general manager, Cindy Schonholtz. Schonholtz will assume the duties of general manager May 1 at the rodeo, which is billed as the Nation’s Greatest Fourth of July Rodeo. Schonholtz goes to Oregon from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, where she worked as the Animal Welfare and Membership Development Coordinator. While at the PRCA, she created the Industry Outreach Department and served as its director. She currently serves as president and CEO of the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, which helps injured rodeo athletes and their families with financial assistance while the athlete is injured and cannot work or rodeo. “For several years, the board has contemplated the hiring of a full time general manager,” said Wally Pohlschneider, St. Paul Rodeo Board of Directors president. “As the St. Paul Rodeo has grown to be the 11th-biggest regular-season PRCA rodeo, virtually every rodeo of our size maintains full-time staff positions. We were not willing to compromise the quality of our organization or rodeo by hiring someone who did not meet our St. Paul standards, and add value to our organization.” This year’s St. Paul Rodeo is June 30 through July 4. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at St Paul Rodeo … California Rodeo Salinas is hosting an old-fashioned barn dance from 7-11 (PT) on April 22 at The Barn in Salinas. Tickets are $25 per person, and include small bites provided by Famous Dave’s, a no-host bar and music by Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band. The proceeds from this event will benefit the California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame. The Barn is located at 1563 Old Stage Road in Salinas. For directions, information and to purchase tickets go to: California Salinas . Call 831.775.3100 to reserve your spot … Hadley Barrett and Dr. Jerry Thompson will be inducted into the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame June 10in Valentine, Neb. Barrett, originally from North Platte, has been announcing the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte since 1964. Thompson, of Stockman’s Veterinary Clinic, has been assisting with animal welfare and veterinary services at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo since the 1970s, and has been a member of the rodeo committee for 15 years … The rodeo program is among budget cutbacks approved by the Hastings (Neb.) College board of trustees as it wrestles with an operational deficit of more than $3 million. A message posted online last week by President Don Jackson says the trustees have approved a plan to realize $2.3 million in savings during the 2017-18 school year by eliminating or consolidating some staff positions and taking other belt-tightening steps. The plans for 2018-19 include eliminating three to four faculty positions, three to four staff positions and ending the rodeo program. The college competes as part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association … The 85th annual San Angelo (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo officially started Feb. 3. The annual Santa Fe Trail Ride kicked off Jan. 27, in Sterling County, and arrived at the San Angelo Fairgrounds Feb. 2. Trail riders participated in the rodeo parade Feb. 4. The San Angelo Rodeo concludes Feb. 15-17 … Last week, the Texas Tech University rodeo team hired Stetson Corman as its new coach. At 23 years old, Corman is the youngest head coach in the history of the program. Corman rodeoed at Tech, and graduated last May … The National High School Rodeo Association has voted to hold its 2020 and 2021 championship events in Lincoln, Neb., at the Lancaster Event Center. Specific dates for the 2020 and 2021 finals are pending, but the rodeo will be in July. The 2017 NHSFR will be July 16-22 in Gillette, Wyo. The 2018 and 2019 NHSFR will be in Rock Springs, Wyo.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The thing about rodeo is you have to be confident – and if you aren’t confident, it doesn’t matter how much you win. We are confident in each other.”
-Cory Petska, team roping heeler, said after winning the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Feb. 4 with his partner Erich Rogers.
Feb. 9 Bell County PRCA Rodeo, Belton, Texas, begins
Feb. 9 Dixie National Rodeo, Jackson, Miss., begins
Feb. 9 San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo, begins
Feb. 10 Rotary Rodeo, Starkville, Miss., begins
Feb. 10 72nd annual Yuma (Ariz.) Jaycees Silver Spur Rodeo, begins
The PRCA, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the largest and oldest professional rodeo-sanctioning body in the world. The recognized leader in ProRodeo, the PRCA is committed to maintaining the highest standards. The PRCA, a membership-based organization, sanctions approximately 600 rodeos annually, and there are more than 30 million fans in the U.S. The PRCA showcases the world’s best cowboys by televising the sport’s premier events, including the Wrangler Champions Challenge and the world-renowned Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on CBS Sports Net (DISH channel 158, DirecTV channel 221). The Justin Boots Playoffs and Championships, RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, All American ProRodeo Finals, and the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour will also air on CBS Sports Net, as well as live stream at Wrangler Network. PRCA-sanctioned rodeos raise more than $26 million for local and national charities. For comprehensive coverage of the cowboy sport, read the ProRodeo Sports News, the official publication of the PRCA, and for daily updates of news and results visit the PRCA’s official website, www.prorodeo.com.
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