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Cody Wright competes in the saddle bronc riding competition during the second go-round of National Finals Rodeo on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Rodeo: Utah’s Wright brothers “had a shot” at world title
Rodeo » Cody Wright calls finishing second in saddle bronc at NFR “heartbreaking.”
First Published Dec 21 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Dec 21 2013 11:27 pm

The Wright brothers hit some turbulence during the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Jake, Cody and Jesse Wright all had a chance to bring the world saddle bronc championship home to Milford, Utah. But they finished behind Chad Ferley of Oelrichs, S.D., who prevailed last weekend with season earnings of $204,432.

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"Being close is better than being way out of it, I guess," said Cody Wright. "But it’s heartbreaking, too. All the work and all the travel and it comes down to one or two rides. But at least we had a shot at it."

Jake Wright started the NFR in seventh place. He won four rounds and finished fifth in the average. But he ended up second in the world championship race with earnings of $194,365.

Cody Wright, searching for the third world championship of his career, won the final two rounds at the National Finals. But he placed only once in the first four rounds and ended up third with earnings of $191,504.

Defending champion Jesse Wright struggled throughout the NFR. He won one round but placed in only two others and slipped from second to eighth in the final standings with $146,110.

"I’m disappointed," Cody Wright said. "I had my heart on winning another championship. But we’ll try ’er again next year. ... I had my chances. I just screwed them up."

Asked about the performance of his younger twin brothers, he said, "I’m proud of them. Jesse had a little tough luck, but I know he’ll be back on top again. And Jake had a super time."

Cody Wright hasn’t finished worse than sixth in the world since 2005. He has four straight top-four finishes, including his second world championship in 2010. He also turns 37 in April.

But retirement? It doesn’t sound like that’s part of his plan.

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"I don’t know if I’ll ever retire," he said. "I’ve heard people die when they retire. You’ve got to have something to do."

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