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Spencer Wright 2014 Saddle Bronc World ChampionSpencer Wright

2014 Saddle Bronc World Champion

Stunning the field by coming from behind to win the world

As Spencer Wright walked away from the arena after his victory lap on the final night of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the 23-year-old saddle bronc rider looked like he had seen a ghost. And who could blame the Wrangler NFR rookie for the frozen expression on his face as he slowly walked up the tunnel? He had just completed one of the most stunning come-from-behind wins in rodeo history.

Wright took his victory lap for winning the Wrangler NFR average title, but that was just the beginning of the craziness. His Round 10 ride earned a fifth-place check, and when Cort Scheer – who finished second in the average – didn’t place in the round, it meant a gold buckle for Wright. “The main thing I remember was taking the victory lap after they figured out I had won the average,” he said. “At that moment, I was thinking, ‘Holy cow, that just happened!’ Then I knew the world title might be a possibility.

“The fact that I was able to win the average at my first NFR – on top of the world title – was icing on the cake. Now that I have one gold buckle, I want to try to win as many as I can.”

The youngest saddle-bronc riding Wright brother said he truly enjoyed being called a world champion.

“I could sure get used to it,” Wright said shortly after his victory lap. “I knew this was a possibility, but it’s just a little hard to take it all in right now. I’m speechless, and I really don’t know what to say at this moment.”

That moment stood to remind us why sports are so amazing: Sometimes the underdog becomes the big dog right before our very eyes.

Wright entered the Wrangler NFR 13th in the world standings. No saddle bronc rider in rodeo history had ever come from farther back than fifth to capture the gold buckle.

Bill and Evelyn Wright of Milford, Utah, can now proudly claim to be the only parents in rodeo history to have three children who won a world title – all of them in saddle bronc riding.

The oldest of their 13 children, Cody, won gold buckles in 2008 and 2010, and Jesse Wright grabbed the gold in 2012. Jake, Jesse’s twin, nearly won it all in 2014, finishing second in the world by $10,067. While Spencer put in all of the hard work which got him to the pinnacle of his event, he knows that his family played a big part.

“I can tell you that they all made this process much easier for me than if I had done it by myself,” he said.

[Click here for Spencer Wright's full bio]

– Justin Shaw, ProRodeo Sports News

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