Meet the Member Kenny Wright

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay King

Kenny Wright nonchalantly recounts the time a bull snapped both of his femurs nine years ago, it’s just how he looks at most things really. “I was at a pro rodeo in Crazy Horse, South Dakota, when I got hung up in my rope. It was a young bull and he took off running. He stepped on one of my legs and that tripped him up so he fell and that broke my other one,” said the Edgewood, New Mexico, resident. Kenny grew up in South Dakota where riding saddle broncs was simply a way of life. “We ride colts and we ride bucking horses, that’s just what we do back there.” This third-generation rodeo cowboy followed in his dad’s footsteps in the roughstock events. “I used to go to rodeos with my dad and if I wasn’t mutton busting then I was just riding around with him in the arena.”
The rodeo bug hit long before Kenny strapped onto his first bull or bronc. “I have always been a roper actually. I would saddle my pony and rope the dog then get off and tie him up. I was horseback before I could even walk, that’s home for me really.” To this day, to clear his head Kenny will go for a ride or toss a loop at the dummy. Even though Kenny has not ridden saddle bronc since before he broke his legs, he is gearing up to get back to it this summer. “My bronc saddle got stolen after I broke my legs and I never really wanted to get back into it that badly until now. I just mainly stuck with bulls because there was less gear to haul around.”
After graduating from Dodge City Community College in Kansas, Kenny started school at the National American University in Rapid City, South Dakota. Before heading to Kansas, Kenny completed a year at Sitanka Huron University in Huron. He was on rodeo scholarships to all three schools. After breaking his legs, Kenny went to physical therapy and then jumped into the working world. “I have been working alongside my dad since I was probably fourteen. He was a carpenter so I just got into that field.” Now a superintendent for a construction company, Kenny has done everything from frame and remodel houses to putting on roofs. “Everything I know today I learned from my dad, from rodeo to working. He always taught me to just work hard and it will all pay off in the end.”
This is the second year Kenny has been in the NMRA where he now serves as the bull riding director. “This association is for the working cowboy, the guys who only rodeo on the weekends. Everything is fairly close to home so I can be back for work on Monday morning.” Kenny has been a longtime competitor in the Indian Rodeo Association. However, he isn’t a big fan of the long drives some of those rodeos require.
Back in 2009, he made the INFR in the bull riding. He was also the Great Plains Indiana Association year end bull riding champion in 2009. “Making the INFR is still one of my greatest accomplishments. But rodeo is not really about how I do, it’s about trying to help others be their best.” Kenny seizes every opportunity to help his fellow competitors out behind the chutes. “If a guy needs some pumping up I will do whatever I can to boost his confidence or if a new guy looks like he needs some help then I try to be that for him.”
It really comes as no surprise that family means the world to Kenny. “My sons are the most important part of my life, they keep me going. I want them to be able to look back and say they are proud of their dad for what I do and how I do it no matter what that is.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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