By the time this issue hits the mailboxes, Rusty Wright will have turned 18 and will have his PRCA permit in hand. "I'll start filling the permit and then buy my card. That's my plan. I'll be going to pro rodeos with my dad and uncles then." There could be as many as seven Wrights' converging on any given rodeo including Rusty, the youngest of the family to begin his rodeo career. Along with his dad, Cody, there would be some of Cody's brothers, Jesse, Jake, Alex, Spencer, and Stuart.
Rusty talks about his start in rodeo, "I always had an idea that I wanted to ride saddle broncs. I did start in junior high rodeo riding bulls but got hurt too much and switched to broncs. Dad helped me get started with practice horses and when he thought I was doing well enough, I started going to rodeos." Rusty credits other family members for their help and says, "When Dad was gone rodeoing, I'd get a lot of help from my grandpa, Bill. He'd be there coaching me and helping me."
Rusty is a two-year member of the Rocky Mountain association and likes the organization for the way the rodeos are set up and the consistent stock at each one. "Each stock contractor has a pretty even pen of horses that buck about the same. There are a couple that stand out but generally you know what you'll get at every rodeo. I'll get to over 30 of the RMPRA rodeos in a year. I'd like to thank the association for all they do in putting on the rodeos, they're fun rodeos that are well organized."
He also is in the Utah High School Rodeo Association and has claimed National High School Saddle Bronc titles for the last two years. He'll be graduating high school in December and will start college in January. "I haven't decided where I'm going yet. There are several schools that have offered me full ride rodeo scholarships so that's a pretty good deal. I plan on studying accounting wherever I go."
Practice sessions are held at his grandfather's arena. "My uncles are gone just as much as Dad but when they're all home, we'll get together at Grandpa's arena and practice. Everybody helps out with pulling gates, flanking horses, and picking up. It's kind of a family affair and anybody that wants to get on, can ride." In preparing to nod his head, Rusty tries to stay calm and relaxed. "When the horse runs in, I visualize what I want to do and focus on the basics; lift on the rein, turn my toes out. I tell myself that I can ride anything. I try not to get too flashy and just focus on the basics." Just to be sure everything is in order, Rusty always puts his right boot on before the left. "I don’t know what happens if I put my left on first, but I always put on my right first and I'll keep doing that."
Rusty lives with his family in Milford, Utah. His parents are Cody and Sha Ree and his dad is of course none other than, Cody Wright, two-time NFR Saddle Bronc Champion. Rusty is the oldest of five and has younger brothers, Ryder, 15, Stetson, 13, and Statler, 10. Youngest of the family is his sister, Lily Jo, 4.
Without hesitation Rusty says that his dad has been his biggest influence and inspiration to him. "The way he rides broncs; he's one of the best in the world but he stays humble about it. I think that is cool the way you could be so good and so down to earth. He's a good dad and I hope I can be half the guy that he is."