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Wright has familiar Omaha success

OMAHA, Neb. – Jesse Wright is hoping the road through Omaha he took two years ago will lead to the same final destination at the end of 2014.

The 2012 saddle bronc riding world champion had quite a weekend at the CenturyLink Arena, winning the Wrangler Champions Challenge Finale Sept. 27 after placing second at the Justin Boots Championships a night earlier.

Success in Omaha is nothing new for Wright, who won the Justin Boots Championships in 2012 on his way to winning the gold buckle.

“I won Omaha the year I won the world with an 86-point ride, just like I had tonight,” Wright said. “I went out with a bang to end that regular season, and I’m hoping it pans out the same way this year as it did in 2012.”

Wright’s 86-point trip on Korkow Rodeo’s Queenie came on a re-ride. He was happy to see her.

“She’s old, and they haven’t bucked her very much. This was the first time they’ve busted her out in the last couple months, and she was outstanding,” Wright said of Queenie. “She was electric and quick, and made me look extra good.”

Wright, who competed for Team ProRodeo Hall of Fame, entered the week 12th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, and wanted to make some moves to get himself in better position heading to Las Vegas. Mission accomplished.

His win on Sept. 27 netted $5,168, and coupled with the $4,864 he earned for splitting second in the Justin Boots Championships, Wright moved to eighth in the final regular-season standings.

“I’m hoping these checks put me in a position to have a good chance at winning another gold buckle,” said the 25-year-old Wright. “I’m going to work out hard and get on a bunch of practice horses between now and the NFR. I’m planning on going down there and drawing the good ones and capitalizing on them, and hopefully coming out on top.”

The Milford, Utah, cowboy is feeling good, and appears to be peaking at the right time of the year. 

“I’m riding way better right now than I have all year long,” he said. “I was fighting my head and my saddle there for a few months, but now I’ve got it all turned around, and it feels great.”

Other winners at the WCC were bareback rider Tim O’Connell, Team ProRodeo Hall of Fame (87 points on Three Hills Rodeo’s Angel Eyes), steer wrestler Nick Guy, Team PRCA (4.1 seconds), team ropers Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves, Team B&W Trailer Hitches, and Tom Richards and Allen Bach, Team ProRodeo Fan Zone (3.9 seconds each), barrel racer Mary Walker, Team Justin Boots (14.36 seconds) and bull rider Trey Benton III , Team Pendleton Whisky (89.5 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s No. 37Y).

The year-end Wrangler Champions Challenge team champions are B&W Trailer Hitches, with $116,280. Team members include bareback rider Bobby Mote, steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge, team ropers Brazile and Graves, saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley, tie-down roper Brazile, barrel racer Lisa Lockhart and bull rider Brennon Eldred.

Team RAM came in second with $113,307, while Team Pendleton Whisky and Team Justin Boots were third and fourth, respectively.

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