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Wright's arena-record 93 wins Champions Ride

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Cody Wright of Milford, Utah, hangs on to Lunatic Party during his 93-point ride in the championship round of the 55th annual Champions Ride Saddle Bronc Match on Saturday afternoon at Home on the Range near Sentinel Butte.

SENTINEL BUTTE -- The Champions Ride Saddle Bronc Match is becoming a game of anything you can do, I can do better between the Wright brothers.

Cody Wright, the defending world champion and current world standings leader, broke his younger brother Jesse's one-year-old Home on the Range arena record by a single point Saturday afternoon with a 93-point ride on Lunatic Party to win the championship round of the 55th annual Champions Ride to benefit the boys and girls of Father Cassidy's ranch.

"I didn't know that horse, and I knew a lot of them horses in there (the chutes). I didn't know what to expect," said Wright, a 34-year-old from Milford, Utah. "That horse jumped out of there, kicked and kind of moved ahead. It must have been a pretty showy horse."

Wright's final bronc was his third on a day where he only expected two.

The four-man judge crew awarded him a re-ride option after scoring a paltry 63 on his opening bronc. He later cashed in on their decision with an 80-point ride on Johnny Cash to qualify for the 12-man championship round.

Wright said he felt fortunate after judges ruled his first bronc of the day wasn't up to snuff.

"The first one, he was just kind of there and they thought I needed a little better one, so they run one in," Wright said. "He (Johnny Cash) was kind of a handful, up and down with his head. I just tried to do what I could."

Getting to the championship round wasn't easy. Neither was winning it.

Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La., won the average with a combined score of 174 after tying Ty Atchinson of Jackson, Mo., for the long-round win with an 88 and tying Isaac Diaz of Desdemona, Texas, with an 86 for second place in the championship round.

"I was pretty happy," said DeMoss, his trademark short cigar still tucked on the side of his lip. "I drawed some pretty good horses. The first one was pretty outstanding and the second one was dang sure a handful. I was just glad to get him rode."

DeMoss is back in action following a 20-day layoff after suffering broken ribs during a ride on July 3.

"They haven't hurt a bit," DeMoss said. "I always praise God that I'm healthy and get to come to places like this and get on good horses."

Jesse Wright had set a Champions Ride record last year with a 92 on Strokers Ace but was bucked off Special Times in this year's championship round.

Golden Valley's Hugh Connolly, the lone North Dakotan to make the championship round, drew Strokers Ace but came up with only an 80-point ride atop the large and powerful bronc.

"Mostly, when you get to a round like this, you've got really good horses and really good riders and everybody takes advantage of them," said Cody Wright, who won the $10,000 grand prize, a new saddle and a trophy rifle and the high-point ride trophy.

"It makes for tough riding. But it's good, because your good riders will ride exceptional when you get to these rounds. Shoot, it just makes for a good show."

Champions Ride Saddle Bronc Match

At Home on the Range, Sentinel Butte

Long round

Ty Atchinson, Jackson, Mo., 88; Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 88; Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 83; J.J. Elshere, Phillips, S.D., 83; Wace Snook, Hulett, Wyo., 83; Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 80; Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, S.D., 79; Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 79; Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 77; Cody Taton, Mud Butte, S.D., 76; Hugh Connolly, Golden Valley, 75; Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 75; Louis Brunson, Interior, S.D., 74; Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 74; Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., 73; James Irish, Lewistown, Mont., 73; Kobyn Williams, Haughton, La., 73; Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 73; Andy Clarys, Mandan, 72; Alex Wright, Milford, Utah, 72; Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., 71; Kaleb Asay, Powell, Wyo., 71; Kane Gjermundson, Marshall, 70; Adam Gilcrest, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, 67; Brad Rudolf, Winnemucca, Nev., 66; Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, 62; Riley Knoll, Mandan, 53.

No score: Cody Angland, Wagga Wagga, Australia; Jake Costello, Newell, S.D.; Rhett Fitzpatrick, Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan; Chase Kukuchka, Dickinson; Ty Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba; Jeremy Means, Eagle Butte, S.D.; Clay Schaeffer, Dickinson;

Short round

C. Wright 93, DeMoss 86, Diaz 86, R. Elshere 85, Connolly 80, Sundell 78, Snook 73, Schmidt 72, Smith 66,

No score: J.J. Elshere, Taton, Je. Wright.

Two-round average

DeMoss 174, C. Wright 173, Diaz 169, R. Elshere 164, Sundell 157, Snook 156, Connolly 155, Schmidt 147.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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