Cody Wright. PRCA Photo by Jeremy Wombold
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – It seems Cody Wright really enjoys competing in Sin City.
Whether he’s riding during the 10 nights of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER or at the Helldorado Days Rodeo, Wright knows how to ride saddle bronc horses for high scores.
That was the case during the May 13-15 edition of Helldorado Days, when the 39-year-old rode for 85 points on Diamond G Rodeo’s A Little Bit of Buddah to take the title.
This was Wright’s third win in the past six years at Helldorado Days, as he also was tops there in 2012-13.
“There are always good horses in Las Vegas, no matter what rodeo you’re at,” Wright said. “I didn’t even know the horse I had, and I couldn’t find out much about him, but he was really good. I want the ones I can win on, and he was the one at that rodeo to win on.
“This is a close-to-home rodeo that we only have to drive a few hours to ride at. Vegas is the place to be.”
Wright, who had his streak of 12 straight trips to the WNFR snapped last year, is looking to make it back to the yellow bucking chutes in 2016.
He moved up six spots to 26th in the May 16 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings, and has been showing the form that won him two world titles (2008 and 2010) in the past month. Wright was tops at the Clark County Fair & Rodeo (Logandale, Nev.), and has now added another solid win in the Silver State.
“I feel good, knock on wood,” said Wright, who is now fully recovered from surgery on his broken collarbone earlier this year. “It’s great to be healthy, and I’m totally back to normal. My collarbone was in six pieces, and they wired it, plated it and screwed it back together. I’m excited to get back at it this summer. I’m going to go hard and go with my boys as much as I can.”
There are currently six – yes, six – Wrights in the top 50 of the world standings. Cody’s eldest son, Rusty, 20, leads the way in fourth, while his 18-year-old son, Ryder, sits 33rd, despite only buying his PRCA card less than two months ago. Cody’s brothers, Jake, Alex and Jesse, check in at sixth, 31st and 42nd, respectively. The only Wright currently missing is 2014 World Champion Spencer.
“I feel blessed that I can still be going when my sons are going,” Cody Wright said. “Hopefully I have a few more good years in me. I think all seven of us making it to the NFR could happen – it’s definitely doable if everybody stays focused and healthy. I wish I could rodeo for another 15 years because I love it so much.”
Other winners at the $87,213 rodeo were all-around cowboy Morgan Grant ($2,520 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Casey Colletti (86 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Lil Red Hawk), steer wrestlers Ross Mosher and Tom Lewis (3.8 seconds each), team ropers Randon Adams and Jory Levy (4.4 seconds), tie-down roper Marty Yates (7.4 seconds), barrel racer Ivy Conrado (14.17 seconds) and bull rider Colten Jesse (84.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Soda Water).
Yates’ 7.4-second tie-down roping run broke the Helldorado Days record of 7.5 set by Trent Walls in 1998.
Helldorado Days Rodeo
Las Vegas, Nev., May 13-15
All-around cowboy: Morgan Grant, $2,520, tie-down roping and steer wrestling.
Bareback riding: 1. Casey Colletti, 86 points on Flying U Rodeo's Lil Red Hawk, $2,837; 2. Ty Breuer, 84, $2,175; 3. George Gillespie IV, 83, $1,608; 4. Luke Creasy, 82, $1,040; 5. (tie) Wyatt Denny and Shane O'Connell, 81.5, $567 each; 7. Jessy Davis, 80.5, $378; 8. Tanner Aus, 79, $284.
Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Ross Mosher and Tom Lewis, 3.8 seconds, $2,284 each; 3. Olin Hannum, 4.2, $1,806; 4. (tie) Cody Cabral, Blake Knowles and Morgan Grant, 4.5, $1,168 each; 7. Gabe Burrows, 4.6, $531; 8. Gus Hansen, 4.7, $212.
Team roping: 1. Randon Adams/Jory Levy, 4.4 seconds, $1,762 each; 2. Thad Ward/Olin Pulham, 4.6, $1,532; 3. J.T. Taylor/Brandon Bates, 5.0, $1,302; 4. Tom Richards/Evan Arnold, 5.1, $1,073; 5. Seth Hall/Byron Wilkerson, 6.4, $843; 6. Stetson Vest/Clint Robinson, 7.4, $613; 7. Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess, 10.6, $383; 8. Zane Barnson/Cole Wilson, 11.1, $153.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 85 points on Diamond G Rodeo's A liitle Bit Of Buddah, $2,888; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 84, $2,214; 3. Allen Boore, 83, $1,636; 4. Tyrell J Smith, 80.5, $1,059; 5. Sam Spreadborough, 79, $674; 6. (tie) Ryder Wright and Jesse Wright, 78, $433 each; 8. (tie) Charlie Kogianes, CoBurn Bradshaw and Rusty Wright, 77.5, $96 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Marty Yates, 7.4 seconds, $2,486; 2. Reese Riemer, 8.2, $2,162; 3. Roy Branco, 8.7, $1,838; 4. (tie) Clint Robinson and Morgan Grant, 8.8, $1,351 each; 6. (tie) Jack Vanderlans and Taylor Santos, 9.0, $703 each; 8. (tie) Bryce Barnes and Ryan Jarrett, 9.1, $108 each.
Barrel racing: 1. Ivy Conrado, 14.17 seconds, $3,136; 2. Rachel Dice, 14.20, $2,509; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 14.29, $2,038; 4. Kallie Wonnacott, 14.30, $1,568; 5. Cassidy Kruse, 14.32, $1,254; 6. (tie) Rylee Dick and Kassi Venturacci, 14.40, $862 each; 8. Dolli Lautaret, 14.41, $706; 9. (tie) Trula Churchill and Cranna Roberts, 14.42, $588 each; 11. (tie) Taylor Homuth and Benette Little, 14.43, $431 each; 13. Meghan Johnson, 14.47, $314; 14. Kelsey Lutjen, 14.48, $235; 15. Brenda Mays, 14.49, $157.
Bull riding: 1. Colten Jesse, 84.5 points on Flying U Rodeo's Soda Water, $3,299; 2. (tie) Tag Elliott and Garrett Smith, 84, $2,200 each; 4. Sage Kimzey, 80, $1,210; 5. Kurtis Turner, 79.5, $770; 6. (tie) Tim Bingham, Tustin Daye and Bart Miller, 73, $440 each.
Total payoff: $87,213. Stock contractor: Flying U Rodeo. Sub-contractors: Rosser Rodeo and Diamond G Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Cindy Rosser. Officials: Clayton Macom, Allan Jordan Jr and Royd Doyal. Timers: Eva Chadwick and Karin Rosser. Bullfighters: Donny Castle and Aaron Hargo. Clown/barrelman: Justin Rumford. Flankman: Delbert Nuse. Chute bosses: Tony Amaral and Reno Rosser. Pickup men: Jeffrey Shearer and Bronc Boehnlein. Photographers: Andy Watson, Jeremy Wombold and Rod Connor. Music director: Hambone Hilton.