December 5-14, 2024


Wright ‘Em, Cowboy – Stetson Finally Got His Saddle Bronc Buckle

Aug 19, 2022

Wright ‘Em, Cowboy – Stetson Finally Got His Saddle Bronc Buckle
Here we go with part six of Gold Buckle Buzz, a series of exclusive interviews with each 2021 PRCA World Champion. Please enjoy saddle bronc and all-round champ Stetson Wright.

By Brian Hurlburt

When it comes to Las Vegas, there are tough acts to follow all over the place. Superstars are featured in resort residencies up and down the Strip, but it is usually for only a few days or weeks at a time when they have to follow in the footsteps of a fellow mega-act.

But when it comes to Stetson Wright, the 2021 PRCA Saddle Bronc and All-Around World Champion, the tough acts he follows are in his own family. Back home in Milford, Utah, he sees and competes against them almost on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until 2021 that Stetson, already a bull riding and all-around champion, felt like he finally lived up to his family name when he added the saddle bronc gold buckle.

Stetson Wright riding in the 10th round of the 2021 Wrangler NFR that won him the championship. | Photo courtesy of the PRCA

“The bronc riding world title meant more to me than probably any of the other four,” Wright says. “Obviously, everybody wants an all-around title and a bull riding is a tough one to get, but the bronc riding seemed like it was the toughest gold buckle in the PRCA to get. There are 15 great bronc riders or maybe even 30. To finally have a saddle bronc gold buckle, just like my dad and brothers and uncles, it meant more to me than anything.”

Stetson’s father, Cody, is a two-time world champion (2008, 2010), and his brother, Ryder, also won world titles in 2017 and 2020. Plus, his uncles, Jesse (2012) and Spencer (2014), are world champions and three other uncles, Jake, Calvin and Alex, also compete in saddle bronc.

Now, that makes a session in the family rodeo pen something to see. And the Wrights also make sure they keep each other accountable.

“It’s pretty sweet to be able to hang around all of the world champions that we have in our family,” Wright says. “Everybody seems to be super positive and uplifting, and not just with rodeo, but with everything in life. If we are doing something we are not supposed to do when we’re home, we hear about it. But, also, if we are doing something good, we hear about it. It’s always fun to go home and hang out with a bunch of winners in life and not just rodeo.”

But with so much talent in a single family tree, it makes it a challenge for gold buckles and world titles to be distributed evenly. Stetson often thinks about how many world titles he or his brothers or father or uncles would have if they didn’t have to compete against another Wright.

From left to right: Statler, Stetson, Cody, Rusty and Ryder. | Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue

“The most challenging thing for me was the bronc riding because not many people have had to deal with competing against their brother and their uncle,” Wright says. “That’s one thing that I think hinders all of us is we want each other to do so well that it maybe limits how good we really are. I’m back there pulling for Spencer, Rusty, and now my little brother, Statler. During the NFR, I want Ryder to do well. And then some nights, I would hit the ground because I was more worried about what he was doing than focusing on what I was doing. It’s a difficult balance.”

According to Stetson, having a strong family to share his journey with is very meaningful albeit competitive. And now there is another Wright in the picture, but he doesn’t have to worry about competing against this little one. He and wife, CallieRey, recently welcomed daughter Kingsley.

“Probably the most important thing to me in my career right now is my daughter,” Wright says. “Everything I do, I’m doing it for her now.”

Stetson and his daughter, Kingsley, walking to the media room after Round 10 of the 2021 Wrangler NFR. | Photo courtesy of Tom Donoghue

The journey to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo® is a long one, even for the talented Wrights. 

“The road to the NFR is a Rocky one and I have never heard of anybody who had a smooth one,” Wright says. “I started out in Denver this year and I broke the arch of my foot, kept riding with it, and then I go to Austin and I break my ankle. Then I go to San Antonio, tear my groin and then I pop my hip out right after that.”

Even with all of those struggles, through Aug. 15, Wright was second in the saddle bronc world standings, and first in bull riding and the all-around. He is on the way to another NFR with a goal of winning all three world titles in one season.

“It’s crazy to think about how much that gold buckle takes over a guy’s life when he wants one so badly,” Wright says. “I have one in saddle bronc and I want more. But every year my goal is the triple crown and I’ll do everything it takes to get it.”

If and when Stetson earns the triple crown, that accomplishment just might replace the 2021 saddle bronc gold buckle in importance.