December 5-14, 2024


All Around Champion – Stetson Wright

Dec 18, 2023

All Around Champion – Stetson Wright

By Patrick Everson

Oftentimes in sports these days, you hear that the regular season doesn’t matter. As the 65th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo closes, you certainly can’t say that about the sport of rodeo.

Stetson Wright came into the Wrangler NFR with a serious hamstring issue. As cowboys are wont to do, he tried to grit it out over the first two go-rounds, but just couldn’t make it work. So he had to bow out of the final eight rounds of saddle broncs and bull riding.

Stetson Wright on 350 Double Red during the Round 1 of the 2023 Wrangler NFR. | PRCA Photo by Roseanne Sales

However, Wright had such a spectacular regular season in both disciplines, racking up almost $460,000, that he ultimately didn’t need to win a penny in Las Vegas. He claimed his fifth straight all-around world championship, despite not earning a dollar over the 10 days in Las Vegas.

So yes, the regular season matters. Big time.

“The regular season is super important. Big or small rodeos mattered every time this year,” Wright said. “The regular season matters, especially when you blow everyone out of the water. It matters.”

Wright did collect two $10,000 NFR bonuses – one for qualifying in bull riding, the other for qualifying in saddle broncs – to finish the year with $479,621. As impressive, Wright joins extremely elite cowboy company, among those who’ve won five or more consecutive all-around gold buckles: Trevor Brazile, Ty Murray, Larry Mahan and Tom Ferguson.

Caleb Smidt was an extremely distant second in the all-around, with earnings of $296,461. Almost all of that was from tie-down roping, with just a few thousand dollars earned as a team roping header.