Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Members: Saddle Bronc
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Austin Davis loves speed and danger.
That’s why the 17-year-old cowboy, a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association, loves riding saddle broncs and driving dirt bikes.
But if he had to choose, rodeo is his favorite.
The Benjamin, Utah saddle bronc rider also team ropes as a heeler for Quinn Morley.
He rides a six-year-old bay roan named Ruger who he has trained himself. Ruger is gentle, likes roping, is good in the box, and “he has a pretty good attitude” about roping, Austin says.
The senior at Salem Hills High School counts going to lunch as the best part of the school day, although he also likes welding class and English, where he doesn’t mind writing essays. He competes in high school wrestling as well.
After high school graduation, he’ll go on a two-year mission trip, and when that is over, he has big plans. “The ideal thing is I’d like to keep rodeoing and win a gold buckle, in both the saddle bronc riding and the team roping.” When he gets to the Wrangler National Finals, he’ll be able to call his uncle, six-time Wrangler NFR Qualifier Jessy Davis, for advice. Austin and his family have attended the Wrangler NFR several times. After he’s done rodeoing, he’d like to be a life-flight pilot.
Austin has three younger sisters: Kennidee, who is fifteen, Saydee, who is ten, and Paislee, age eight. He is the son of Kenion and Holly Davis.
Tayson Bailey is a team roper, tie-down roper and saddle bronc rider in the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
The 16-year-old cowboy lives in Wellsville and is a junior at Mountain Crest High School, where he enjoys his ag classes the most. This year, he has three of them: floriculture, animal science and ag systems, which includes welding, small gas engines, concrete, plumbing, electrical, and more.
Tayson’s tie-down and heel horse is a four-year-old gelding named Tex who he trained himself. He also has a palomino mare named Belle who he occasionally heels off of.
After graduation, Tayson will attend college, although he’s not sure where. He hopes to major in an ag-related field. He has plenty of agriculture experience; he lives on the family farm and ranch, where they run 200 head of Red Angus cattle and raise alfalfa and oats. If it’s summertime, Tayson can be found in the hayfield.
He has qualified for state finals two years and has next spring’s qualification wrapped up in the team roping. He also qualified for the Silver State Rodeo last year.
Tayson has two older brothers: Tyrell, who is 25, and Trent, who is 21. In his spare time, Tayson loves to ride in the mountains, doctoring and checking cattle.
He is the son of Rex and Staci Bailey.
Ryder Wright gets a lot of advice from some really good bronc riders.
He appreciates it all, and the best part is that it comes from his dad, Cody, his uncles Jesse and Spencer, and his brother Rusty. Those four Wrights, the dynastic family of saddle bronc riders, have four world championships and a rookie of the year title between them all.
They’ve all helped Ryder out. “That’s who I learn everything from,” he said. When it’s practice time, they head to grandpa Bill Wright’s arena, where they get on practice horses. “Everybody comes when they can and they do what they can to help us. It’s pretty cool to have such great teachers.”
Ryder, who is seventeen, also rides bulls, as did his dad, Cody, and uncles Jesse, Jake and Spencer, through high school and college.
The Milford, Utah cowboy is a senior at Milford High School, where he considers the best part of the day when the bell rings to get out. He plays football and baseball, and will graduate a semester early so he can hit the pro rodeo road with his dad, uncles and brother. He hopes to attend college but isn’t sure what school he will attend, or what degree he’ll pursue.
Ryder has begun his own resume with a championship for the 2014-2015 school year. He is the reigning National High School Rodeo Saddle Bronc Riding Champion.
For fun, he likes to hang out with his girlfriend and hunt deer and elk.
He has an older brother, Rusty, younger brothers Stetson and Statler, and a younger sister, Lily.
He is the son of Cody and ShaRee Wright.