Dec 12, 2021
There’s Zero Disappointment
By Patrick Everson
It certainly can’t be said that Stetson Wright didn’t make things entertaining over these past 10 days, competing in both the family business of saddle broncs and in bull riding at the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Saturday night’s 10th go-round may have been the most entertaining of all. Stetson and brother Ryder were engaged in a fierce battle for the saddle bronc world championship. In fact, Stetson was stunned to learn after his 93-point first-place ride that he’d eked out eighth place in the average, too – for $6,532 that proved the difference in overtaking Ryder.
“I’m not gonna lie, when they told me I won it, I told Ryder: ‘I came in here to play defense for you tonight,’” Stetson said, noting he’d hoped to help his older brother nab a third world title.
Instead, between his $26,997 go-round check and that few thousand dollars of average cash, Stetson finished the season with $342,524 in saddle bronc earnings. That was barely enough to edge Ryder’s $342,337.
“That’s what makes rodeo fun. Win, lose or draw, we’re each other’s biggest supporters,” Stetson said after joining multiple older brothers, his father and uncle in winning a saddle bronc gold buckle. “I didn’t realize how incomplete I felt until they handed the saddle bronc buckle to me.”
Consider him complete. And as if that weren’t enough, Stetson cruised to his third straight all-around world title, as well. In record fashion, no less. Along with his saddle bronc cash, Stetson finished third in the world in bull riding with $342,989. There are stipulations on just how much of all that cash counts toward the all-around, but regardless, Stetson piled up $585,850 in qualifying winnings, more than $270,000 ahead of second-place Josh Frost ($313,890).
Stetson entered the week with a goal of three gold buckles – the all-around, bull riding and saddle bronc. But he was hardly disappointed with getting two for the second straight year, especially since one was saddle bronc title.
“I’ve always wanted one in each,” Stetson said, and he has that now. “There’s zero disappointment.”