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Letter From The
In life I have learned the benefit of having strong roots. They build for us a firm foundation upon which we can then stretch forth and branch out into all the many experiences life has to offer. They enable us to learn, grow, and explore while still holding firm to values and experiences from the past. It is this natural collaboration of our roots and the experience we earn from branching out that help us grow into the person we want to become and affect the world around us.
My roots spring from the red dirt of southern Utah. They run deep in the town where I was raised of Moab. They trace all the way back to the pioneer settlers who first settled the region, a hardy group of cattle ranchers mostly. Western traditions are family traditions to me. Whether it was working the family farm, helping out on my grandfatherâ€™s cattle ranch, or hunting and fishing trips with my dad and brothers, the country lifestyle was engrained deeply in me. Our family even ran something called the Bar-M Chuckwagon for a few seasons, which performed live western shows and served a cowboy supper. I learned hard work and respect for those that came before, but also developed confidence in my own abilities as Iâ€™ve seen hard work pay off. Whether it was leading the local high school football team to its first ever state championship as a captain or taking a leap of faith to serve a LDS mission, those roots that were cultivated in my formative years provided the support for me to branch out into other experiences and achievements. It is those similar roots and branches from the traditions of the sport of rodeo we hope to nourish with our magazine. That by highlighting the amazing talent this sport has to offer we can cultivate enthusiasm for this great sport and its traditions. It is my hope that we can provide content that will help strengthen your roots and give you the courage to branch out and seek your own new experiences and achievements. Braun Black Editor
RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 3
The Wright Family Tree In the small town of Milford, Utah, the Wright family tree grows larger. As it sinks its roots one generation deeper, three more members of the family tree will compete at the Nationals Final Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada, this December in the Saddle Bronc Riding Event.
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Rusty Wright Photography provided by Cowboys and Angels Photography, Mykals Photography and W. T. Bruce Photos.
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For information on advertising or other inquiries, visit our website at www.rodeoathletes.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (435) 200-5746. The publisher is not responsible for the accuracy of the articles in RodeoAthletes.com Magazine. The information contained within has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material. Appropriate professional advice should be sought before making decisions. ÂŠCopyright 2013.
Cody, Jesse, and Jake Wright Milford, Utah
Photography by W. T. Bruce Photos
In the small town of Milford, Utah, the Wright family tree grows larger. As it sinks its roots one generation deeper, three more members of the family tree will compete at the Nationals Final Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada, this December in the Saddle Bronc Riding Event. In a recent interview with RodeoAthletes.com Cody, Jesse, and Jake Wright explained what it’s like to come from the Wright family tree. From the time that they were young boys and even now, their parents taught them three key things: Hard work, determination, and setting goals will get them where they want to be in life. By taking advantage of opportunities as they come, whether it’s hopping on an old saddle horse just to see if he will buck or by getting in that ride so that you can practice the techniques you have learned, you will be successful.
maintaining the proper physical condition is one of the top requirements to become a world champion. During the off-season Cody conditions himself by doing a workout program called Insanity. He compares this program to a rodeo because, “It will put you in as good of shape as you want to be in. You just have to push yourself to do it.” When we interviewed Jesse, he said that, “Working out is one of the most important things to do as you travel. You have to make time for it every day if you want that competitive edge that it takes to win a world title.” Jake continued on by telling us that, “Working out and eating right daily are the key ingredients. Even though you’re going to think of it as a burden, you just have to do it because it transfers into whatever you’re going to do in the rodeo industry and life in general.”
Workout tips from the Wrights:
Working out with the Wrights doesn’t always have a gym involved. In fact, they will tell you that they do push-ups and pullups every morning as their main workout because they can do those no matter where they are. From the lights of Las Vegas, the hills of Tennessee, and even the small towns that hold PRCA rodeo’s throughout North America, the Wrights can always workout along the rodeo trail. The Wright’s also carry around a set of elastic bands that help them work their arms and legs because
Practicing with seven family members all riding competitively from high school, college, and all the way up to the PRCA in the same event can be difficult. What they will all tell you is that it’s about the basics-staying back, grasping it, and lifting right. Whether you are starting out on an old broken down saddle horse or preparing for the NFR, there is a lesson to be learned. Their dad, who has ridden for all three rough stalk events, taught them continued on page 8 RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 7
continued from page 7 that by practicing they are learning to become better. Sometimes it appears that you are doing the same thing day in and day out, but every horse is different. With these differences you learn new techniques for what you draw the next time just by practicing correctly on whatever you can find that will buck. The more time I spent talking with the Wright boys, the more it became apparent that they had spent many hours in the practice pen. It all began in Hurricane, Utah with their parents Bill and Evelin Wright. Being a great rider is not always about the practice pen. It also includes watching their videos together. By doing this, it allows them to identify areas they are struggling with. Discussing and sharing pointers on how to fix these areas in their rides
Practice with people that will make you better, and even though it feels like you are doing the same thing over and over keep doing it, you will get better.
gives them opportunities to improve. Video watching sessions also allow them to learn from each other’s experiences and gives them a chance to see what they should expect if one of them happens to draw the same horse in the future. They are all very committed to helping each other become the best as they all compete to be the next world champion at this year’s NFR. Cody says that, “Practice is all about trying to become the best and you get out of it what you put into it, so give it all you have even in the practice pen.” While Jesse says that, “Practice with people that have the same intention as you because who and how you practice matters just as much as anything on the road to becoming a champion.” Jake, like his brothers insists that, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Every time you get done riding you can always get better by making improvements and that’s what the practice pen is for.”
Traveling down the road with your brothers, who are also some of your best competitors, is one of the most prevalent things the Wright Brothers attribute to the success of their family in the rodeo industry. Cody has said that one of the key things to his success in becoming a champion saddle bronc rider has been travel8 www.rodeoathletes.com
Travel with the right people and make sure you all have a Goal to be the best.
Stay humble and keep a great attitude even when you’re not winning.
ing with other winners. Jesse had said the same thing, “Traveling down the road with my brothers is awesome because I’m riding with the best every day.” By traveling together they get to see what they are doing. Watching one of them go out and ride a horse for 90 points and knowing that another brother is up next wanting to try for a 91 or 92 just to beat them. It almost becomes a competitive advantage to haul with the Wright Brothers. As you travel, it is important to never get sour because you’re not always going to win. Keep your head up and never take your eye off the main goal, winning a world championship.
Just traveling with the best may help you be successful, but it doesn’t win you championships. So we asked the Wright brothers what they felt gave them the competitive edge as they compete. Cody told us his competitive edge comes from having goals and achieving them along the way. As you are traveling and competing, you stay focused and on the right path. By hanging out at the right places, with the right people, and staying focused on your goals will always help you achieve your dreams. Without a goal you never know where you are going. Nerves can either help you or hurt you and by learning how to harness it, you can let it go as you compete in the moment. The Wright boys told us that their father taught them to never let their nerves get the best of them. Keep the competitive edge to just let it all hang out and let it burst
as you give it your all; every moment jump for jump on each and every horse. As you can see, being a part of the Wright family tree is much more than just competing in rodeos. It comes with the right attitude and a work ethic to get them where they want to go in life as they stick to their goals and achieve their dreams. They are all well accomplished, but nothing compares to qualifying for the NFR and being crowned the world champion in the saddle bronc riding event. Jesse’s hero has always been his father. He gave him direction in achieving his dreams, but always followed up with teaching the basic fundamentals like lifting, staying back, and grasping it. The basics are to set goals because if you don’t have any goals why even rodeo. “Work hard every day, live your life as a champion, don’t ever forget to enjoy what you are doing, and take every opportunity to be appreciative for what you have because you only get to do it once.” This is Tip what Jake lives by. With Have a goal and set a all the miles traveled, all date to achieve it. the horses ridden, and Cody Wright the perfect ride still out there Cody won’t be hanging up his spurs until he has that perfect ride. RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 9
RodeoAthletes.com is a Utah based company that was started by Braun Black, Timberlee Ward, Jacob Dalton, and Garrett Baxter from Dixie State University. They provide up and coming rodeo athletes the opportunity to chase both their rodeo and educational dreams. Through sports and entertainment marketing strategies never seen before in the entertainment market, our magazine RodeoAthletes.com and our website contain a sphere of influence of over 100,000 individuals and companies worldwide. RodeoAthletes is designed to help cowboys and cowgirls build strong relationships with companies that will help them achieve their rodeo dreams. Marketing their sponsors’ products as they compete at local, college, and national levels, they will receive support for their educational, career, and rodeo pursuits. One of our main focuses is to help companies expand and look into the future as they market with the talent that rodeo has to offer. By allowing young talent to market their product throughout the nation as they compete this offers many companies an opportunity that they don’t always see. The talent they are sponsoring can become the best employees’ they could ever have imagined when selling their products long-term at an expediential level unheard of in the rodeo atmosphere. The more an athlete competes, the more familiar he or she becomes with their sponsor’s products/services. They also become a true believer in the product, which makes it easy to transition into a permanent position with these companies that have helped them achieve their dreams in the rodeo arena. In the past few months, RodeoAthletes.com has been able to develop relationships for top talent and organizations like our own Timmi Ward, the 2013 CNFR Barrel Racing Champion, who partnered with Stephen Wade Dealerships of St. George, Utah, to help grow market share in the state while she hauls in the Wilderness Circuit and Rocky Mountain College Rodeo Region.
This landed Timmi a full-ride Scholarship to Dixie State University. We also picked up Garrison Cannon, the 2011 High School Rodeo Calf roping Champion, who was awarded a full-ride Scholarship to Dixie State University for the 2013-14 year by RodeoAthletes.com. This gives the opportunity to build brand awareness as he competes in the Rocky Mountain Region where he is currently leading the region in steer wrestling. If you are interested in what we can do for you, your University, or your team, please contact us on our website where you can build a profile as an Athlete, Sponsor, or University.
s Mission Statement
RodeoAthletes.com is setting the stage for the rodeo athletes of tomorrow in the rodeo arena to be successful in all aspects of life: from the classroom, to the arena, to their career and beyond. At RodeoAthletes.com we are about building opportunities for both athletes and sponsors to best market themselves across the nation, while contributing to their economic and educational growth. Our goal is to ensure rodeo’s place in the American lifestyle for many years to come by creating these marketing opportunities for our sponsors, and educational opportunities for rodeo athletes around the world.
Cannon Garrison Cannon
Dixie State University Rodeo Team St. George, Utah | GPA 3.3
By Cindy Cannon
Garrison Cannon was born into a rodeo family who already had love for the sport. By the time he was two years old, he was already swinging a rope. His twin sister could also swing a rope so the competitiveness quickly arose between them. Even through the competitiveness, Garrison asserts that rodeo is still a family sport. “At our house rodeo was definitely a family way of life. It always brought us closer together, even when the practice pen got a little heated at times.” At the arena, there were many horses to be trained, exercised, and ridden. Everyone in Garrison’s family knows their place because it’s their way of life. When it comes to the rodeo families, these people are genuine and very family oriented. This is what has attracted Garrison to that way of life. It’s just an added bonus that he loves to compete in any type of competition. It takes a better loser to be a great winner. This is the foundation that was laid by Garrison’s dad. His father had taught him that attitude is everything. A good attitude is what makes someone a better person. This lesson was never truly understood until he was a little older, and it has been a big part of his life today. When going into the arena, if a rider doesn’t have a positive attitude it will show not only on the horse, but on the run and in the results as well. Garrison���s attitude is everything, but it also ties hand in hand with being in shape mentally, physically, and spiritually. By setting his standards high, his workouts are extreme
and help him prepare mentally to be the best example that he can be. Everything came together for Garrison in 2011. All of the encouraging words of wisdom, the hard practice nights, and the long rodeo weekends paid off. In Gillette, Wyoming Garrison won the National Champion Tie-down Calf Roping title. The competition was tough, but all he had to do was stay calm and do the job that he had practiced so hard for with his horse. It was an amazing achievement for Garrison after working so hard in order to achieve what he wanted so badly. It’s the love for rodeo that keeps his competitive edge alive. Three weeks after winning the Championship, Garrison went to St. Louis, Missouri to serve on a L.D.S. mission for his church. Even though he put his horses out to pasture for the next two years, he was still developing his skills. During this time he realized that although a person may not get everything they want, they will never get it without working hard for it. By always looking ahead, Garrison has been able to take advantage of what is in front of him. Since coming home from his mission three months ago, he has enrolled at Dixie State University where he received a scholarship from RodeoAthletes.com. With this scholarship Garrison is back in the saddle and right back to the rodeo way of life. While maturing and growing during his time away, he has become grounded and very level headed. The learning that
has been done both through rodeo and his mission experiences has shown him that it’s okay to be knocked down, it only means that you just have to get back up and take a step forward. The rodeo life has taught responsibility and created a place where skills can be learned that will help Garrison throughout his life. He is currently the leading steer wrestler in the Rocky Mountain College Rodeo region for 2013. While looking forward to competing and studding, he cannot wait to see what the next chapter of his life holds for him. The main goal for the future is to press forward with a positive attitude, simply enjoy all that comes, and to make every moment worth the fight. Garrison is always proving to himself and the world that he can be the best. “Life is like a barrier…. push it…but don’t break it.”
RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 11
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Barnson Dax Barnson
Dixie High School Rodeo Team Washington, Utah | GPA 3.5
By Jackie Barnson
Dax Barnson is a true natural born champion and has always been a cowboy since the day he was born. At age eight, Dax started winning championships with a rope. His first win was at the National Dummy Roping Championship. He loves the cowboy lifestyle and everything about it. Once Dax has a goal in mind, he stays focused and driven until he achieves that goal. By practicing day in and day out he has been able to accomplish so many things through his life. Dax is currently a two time Utah state team roping header in the Jr. High Rodeo Association. He has also qualified for the High School National Finals three times, in 2013 for the Team and Calf Roping Championship. Dax and his partner Brodi Adams won the 2013 National High School Team Roping Championship. With hard work and lots of practice, Dax is hoping to finish out his high school career by qualifying for nationals in both events for the second year in a row. If he does, this will make it his fourth trip to nationals in a row. While doing this, Dax has been able to maintain a 3.45 GPA at Desert Hills High School where he is the Vice President of The Dixie Rodeo Club and also is actively involved with his local FFA Chapter. Dax is a happy, funny, and hardworking
kid that is looking forward to his future. He plans to attend college to become a diesel mechanic. As a senior at Desert Hills High School, he is now at a point in his life where he is looking for the next opportunity in reaching his goals to attend college. Dax has partnered with RodeoAthletes.com in order to
help him build a strong relationship with sponsoring companies and schools to give him the best chances to attend and be successful in achieving his dreams. He is very good with his hands and loves to work on his truck. He has taken every auto class available in high school. He enjoys working hard and has a lot of pride in everything he does. He is a true champion both in and outside of the arena.
RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 13
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CALL US TODAY AT 1-435-200-5746 Or Visit Our Website. RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 15
Sankey Rodeo Schools By Lyle Sankey In a time with declining numbers in rodeo, from youth events to the pro ranks, I believe that the early training is more important than ever. Our goals have always been to provide the highest level of training but life leadership as well. Our sport has so much to offer. Along with the demands it places on it’s athletes physical talents, it provides the perfect training ground for decision making and personal discovery. Within the training, practice, and competition the sport of rodeo prepares it’s athletes for life and the future in and out of the arena. Our schools focus on building the needed skill sets for the various events as we build the life skills of decision making, facing challenges, and taking responsibility for what they can control. We build relationships with our students and the foundation for their success based on trust. There’s always only three things that any athlete has to trust. – They need to trust the information they are getting. That means their coaches, their mentors, and their friends. Our success over the past 38 years of doing schools goes a long way to reaching that end but it’s the honest and intense time and attention each student receives from the coaching staff that builds that trust. – Next they have to trust their equipment. We make sure that each student has quality equipment to use during the school. 16 www.rodeoathletes.com
While some have their own gear not all of it is the right equipment for them and often not the right fit. We are in a unique position to provide both the beginner and veteran rodeo athlete with the highest quality equipment in the sport of rodeo. It costs a ton to haul that 20 foot equipment trailer to every school but it pays off by allowing us to insure the best possible opportunity for growth with our students. Having the right equipment and knowing how to select it, set it up, care for it, and use it builds another level of trust for our students. – Last of all, every athlete has to trust themselves. That becomes possible when they buy into the program and allow us to help them get the most out of every aspect of their training. It’s a process that starts the minute they check in and continues through the final competition and the closing reminder that we remain available to our students as an ongoing resource for as long as they are in the sport.
Having bucking stock provided by outfits that believe in our program and recognize that building new champions is an essential part of rodeo and it’s future makes all the difference. Not only do we have unlimited bucking stock so our students can get on as much as they want, we’re able to address their needs with livestock to fit the many different stages of talent, experience, and physical conditioning that students come to the schools in. Having the different types of livestock allows us to help the students build confidence through their successes, and extend their vision and reach as they are ready to face the challenges of better and better livestock as they are ready for it. There are a number of training drills that we use to teach and ingrain the essential basics of each event. Regardless of how far a rodeo athlete goes in their career they’ll always build on those fundamentals. We use saddle horses for basic training in bucking chute procedure, dismount practice, and building muscle memory. Along with the saddle horses we take advantage of spur boards for the Bare Back Riding and Saddle Bronc Riding and work in both the original “Il Toro” bull riding trainer and the new “Il Toro Drop Frame” for the Calf Riding, Steer Riding, Jr. Bull Riding, and Bull Riding students. The Bullfighting students work hard with their coaches learning essential moves, positioning, and reaction timing while investing time using our bullfighting training unit. For any athlete to find success and move forward it’s always a combination of getting the right information and having the right tools to train. When those are combined with a winning attitude and a serious work ethic success is just a matter of time. We are proud to have been a part of that success for so many in the past and honored to be able to continue to be a part of that same success journey for so many today. Thanks for giving us the opportunity and your confidence for these past years and those to come.
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RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 17
Ward Timmi Ward
Dixie State University Rodeo Team St. George, Utah | GPA 3.7
By Staci Sue Ward
On a warm June afternoon, a darling baby girl was born. Timmi’s mom, Staci Sue, had given her a boy’s name because she knew that her daughter would grow into it. She was all smiles as she learned from her big brother Haggon all about tractors, trucks, and motor bikes. One day all she wanted was a pony and that was when her mom knew that her little girl was starting the same habit that she herself had for years. The judges and committees got to know Timmi on a first name bases because she ran at the end of the barrel racing at most Pro rodeos at a very young age. Her biggest worry was when they announced her name if they would say Tammy rather than Timmi. At age six, Timmi had won her first saddle and was fully hooked on rodeo. Her family hauled her to every Junior Rodeo event throughout Utah and Idaho and then when she was nine years old her mom and Rod Jones bought her IMPRA card. Timmi made the finals her first year, but two years later she was the highest single event money earner. She ended up winning the year end saddle along with her famous mount “Woody”. While in Jr. High School, Timmi traveled to Gallup, New Mexico for the Jr. High National Finals. She finished sixth in the Nation which was her personal best. Just around the corner she was about to start High School rodeo. Enjoying her first year, sitting to win rookie of the year, and fighting for the barrel racing title against super senior Shelby Maxfield was just the start. Knowing that she had a huge challenge ahead in Heber, Utah, Timmi worked hard for the finals thinking it would come down to the last run to see who won the title. That was when the nightmare started. On their way to the rodeo Timmi and her Mom were struck by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction and were hit head on. Both vehicles were going at an estimated speed of 75 mph. Timmi had been transported to a hospital and spent a few weeks recovering there before going home to finish her rehab over the next six months. Her Mom had to be life flighted and was in a wheel chair for the next year. Neither of these slowed Timmi down.
Setting her goals high her sophomore year, she wanted to win the High School Title. Her horse “Woody” and she did just that. After attending Nationals and finishing sixth in the Nation, Timmi began to think that her lucky number was six. Junior year was no different for Timmi because she was headed to win the title when once again she had bad luck in the second go. With her goals unchanging in her senior year, her horse ended up sore going into the finals. She jumped onto her Mom’s mount and once again won the Utah High School Barrel Racing Championship for the second time. That summer she decided to purchase her PRCA permit and try her luck with the pro girls. With great success she filled her permit quickly only to face her next challenge. With offers on the table from several colleges, Timmi questioned herself regarding how well would she do being so very far away from her family and home. She decided to attend a Junior College that was only two hours away. If she wanted to go home for the day she could because her home was just a short drive. continued on page 20
RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 19
continued from page 19 Timmi was picked up to go to Nationals in Casper, Wyoming and it was an honor, but she knew that the competition was going to be tough. She had ridden mostly young colts to this point in college and she knew she would have to pull out her tough mount “Smoke” to have a fair chance. The first round Timmi ended up in fourth place. Still working hard, she entered the second round and won. It was back to the practice pen to get ready for the third round. Once again, Timmi and her favorite horse “Smoke” were ready. She had been in the lead with a winning average over three tenths of a second. Timmi knew that she was going to have to step up her game plan. She ended up having the fastest time of the week and was the College National Finals Champion. Faced with more decisions, Timmi decided that she wanted to purchase her PRCA card and try to make the Wilderness Circuit Finals which she did. It came down to the last Rodeo and she was in. Deciding to stay home for a year, Timmi helped out around the house, barn, and stables. It was her first attempt, but she was successful in making her own futurity horse and would like to do it again in the future. Timmi’s love for barrel racing has increased with her new colt. Timmi was given an opportunity to attend Dixie State University. With Stephen Wade Dodge generously paying her college fees, Timmi was headed south with an open mind and so much appreciation. Although she loves her rodeo life, above all she appreciates the love of her family. That is the most important thing to her. With all of the support that she receives there is an endless amount of gratitude on her part. Living in Utah and Idaho has been great for Timmi, but her roots will always be where her family is. Hoping to expand her radius, Timmi plans on going farther with Rodeo. In addition, she has plans to start her own business in January 2014-keep your eyes peeled. With a sponsorship from Ariat, Timmi will represent them in and out of the arena. Not forgetting Bio Care Products, who had sponsored her even before she could get a driver’s license; they will still be a part of her feed program. Her words of wisdom to all the young girls out there “Don’t stop asking for a pony until you get one, show appreciation, set your goals high, and just enjoy the ride in the saddle.”
RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 21
Milford High School Rodeo Team Milford, Utah | GPA 3.4
Rusty Wright was born to be a champion. Since he was a small boy he has been taught by one of the best, his father Cody Wright. Cody has instilled the lessons of a world champion into Rusty. This has been done by showing him how setting goals, putting in the hard work, and having determination can lead him down the path of greatness. These have been engrained in Cody and into the Wright Family Tree. All of this will bring him success in everything he has done and will do in his life. When Rusty was in eighth grade he won his first state champion title in the bull riding event. Since then, he has been the pace setter for a lot of the saddle bronc events in the state of Utah. In these events he has qualified for nationals three times and brought two consecutive National High School Rodeo Saddle Bronc Championships home to Utah in 2012 and 2013. During these wins, he was only a sophomore and junior in High School. In addition to his other win in 2012, he also took second place in the Rocky Moun-
tain Pro Rodeo Association for the Saddle Bronc Riding event. 2013 was where he followed up his win and became the RMPRA Saddle Bronc Champion. Rusty is now on the threshold of being the first saddle bronc rider to ever win three consecutive High School Rodeo National Saddle Bronc Championships. While attending Milford High School, Rusty has also been a part of the wrestling team where he placed fourth in the state as a freshman. While also playing on the football team and the baseball team, Rusty has been able to maintain a 3.4 GPA. He is looking forward to finishing high school and plans to graduate in December. With college right down the road, Rusty is excited to start school and work towards getting his associates degree. While in college Rusty will continue to rodeo, but canâ€™t wait until he gets the opportunity to rodeo professionally with his father Cody Wright. Rusty is truly made of the Wright stuff. His ability to become a PRCA National Finals Rodeo Champion shows how his helpful, humble, hardworking attitude helps him in his everyday life.
WILL BE MADE
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RodeoAthletes.com Magazine | Winter 2013/14 23