Monday Notebook, May 13: Ryder Wright’s Confidence Grows in California and More

There were eight rodeos and one bronc match over the weekend and things were a bit quieter than normal before the Summer Run.

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The biggest event of the weekend came in California as 30 of the best bronc riders in the world headed West to compete in the Veater Financial Bronc Match, which in its fourth year has quickly become known as a rodeo that produces some of the most beautiful bronc riding we’ll see all season long.

  • Ryder Wright dominated at the Veater Financial Bronc Match with rides of 91 and 87 points to win the event. Wright banked more than $15,000 and after finishing, No. 10 and No. 7 the last two seasons, it appears he may spend all summer in contention for a third Gold Buckle. He joins Stetson Wright, Brody Cress and Dawson Hay as a champion of that event, which has been a good predictor of success in the future. In the years they won, those three cowboys finished first, sixth and 11th in the World respectively. Ryder is currently No. 4.
  • And it’s not just the winners at the Veater Bronc Match that find success. Last year, all three cowboys who made the whistle in the Short Round - Dawson Hay, Layton Green and Lefty Holman - all made the NFR. This year, there were also three cowboys who rodeo - Ryder Wright, Lefty Holman and Riggin Smith, all of whom are in the Top 15 right now.
  • Bareback rider Tilden Hooper won his first rodeo since returning from an 18-month PRCA layoff last month. The nine-time NFR qualifier has not missed a beat since returning in San Angelo in April. He is 6-for-7 with all six of those rides going for 82 or more points. The best one was the most recent, an 87.5-pointer as his hometown rodeo, the Panola County Cattleman’s ProRodeo (Texas), to win $959.
  • Tie-down roper Shad Mayfield is $20,000 ahead of Riley Webb’s record-setting pace from a year ago. It’s worth mentioning Mayfield almost weekly at this point because there’s a chance he could not only break the tie-down roping regular season earnings record, but the all-time single-event earnings record. With $139,000+ he is greatly outpacing Webb’s $116,000 at this time in 2023. The number Mayfield is chasing in the tie-down is $280,405 and with each day, he becomes closer to being the first tie-down roper ever with three straight regular seasons of more than $200,000. Mayfield kicked off this month with two wins on the Weekend of May 5.
  • Rookie bull rider Rawley Johnson made the highest marked ride of his career to win the Panola County Cattlmen’s ProRodeo. The 21-year-old cracked the Top 50 in the PRCA World Standings thanks to an 89.5-point ride on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s News Flash. It is his second straight qualified ride that ended up being a new career-best as he was 87 points at the Resistol Rookie Roundup on April 28.
  • Bull rider Hayes Weight is 8-of-11 since April 24 to move to No. 3 in the World. Since making his NFR debut in 2023, things have only gotten better for Weight. He finished fourth in Panola County over the weekend and has added checks in Uvalde, Guymon and Clovis among others in recently. Overall, he has made more than $12,000 in the last three weeks.