LAS VEGAS — Jesse Wright edged Cody DeMoss by $797 in the saddle bronc season standings for his first world title, finishing fourth with an 80.5-point ride on Pedro on Saturday night in the 10th and final round of the National Finals Rodeo.
“I didn’t have that great of a finals, but to come down to the end of it and to ride my horses and win the world title without being high up in the average (NFR aggregate) feels outstanding,” Wright said. “I had a great regular season and everything panned out enough here for it all to work out.
Wright, from Milford, Utah, earned $226,887.
“This is better than what I ever thought it would feel like,” he said. “It hasn’t come close to sinking in yet, and I can’t comprehend it. To be classified as a world champion and to be in the same category as my brother (Cody), who is a great bronc rider, is a dream I’ve had since I’ve started riding broncs.”
DeMoss, from Heflin, La., won the round with an 86 on Painted Feather and earned a $46,821 bonus by topping the NFR aggregate standings with 798.5 points for 10 rides.
Cody Wright led the NFR saddle bronc earnings race with $121,322.
In bull riding, Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, passed J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, in the final round to take the title. Teel earned $11,484 with the sixth-place NFR aggregate standings bonus to take the title with $201,978. Harris was second with $200,922.
In barrel racing, 53-year-old Mary Walker of Ennis, Texas, won the season title in her first NFR, finishing sixth in 14.01 seconds. She earned $274,233, and finished with an event-best $146,941.
In bareback riding, Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, repeated as the champion and aggregate standings winner by tying for third with an 85.5 on Scarlett’s Web. Feild earned $276,850, and Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, was second with $220,269. Feild is the first bareback rider to win consecutive titles since Lowe in 2006-07.
“I’m friends with a lot of past world champions, and they always say the second one is a little more tough than the first one,” Feild said. “I don’t know why, but I found that to be true. To come here and stay on top the whole time in Vegas and stay strong was tough. Bareback riding is simple. It’s just having the right mindset.”
In steer wrestling, Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., won his second straight season title and fourth overall, finishing with $147,184.
In team roping, there was a split world championship for the first time since 2007 when Chad Masters of Cedar Hill, Tenn., won the header title with $196,099.