Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content In the saddle or in the truck for Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo cowboy

By Kevin Carmody Published: July 11, 2013

Please forgive Cody Wright if he wonders what day of the week it is.

Chances are, he's put more miles on his Dodge truck than most, if not all, of us during the past nine days.

The two-time world saddle bronc riding champion just knows where to be and when to be there, and that's all that matters to this 36-year-old father of five from Milford, Utah, who has amassed more than $2 million in career earnings since joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1998.

"Sometimes I do forget the day of the week," said Wright, whose 76 Wednesday during the first performance of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo probably won't add to his earnings as the top-ranked cowboy in the saddle bronc riding world standings. "I'm just going on dates."

By the time Wright arrived in Colorado Springs, he had driven more than 4,000 miles since July 2, when his 13-day run started in Prescott, Ariz. And there's more than 1,500 to go.

From there, he set his course for St. Paul, Ore. (1,320 miles), then the in-state commute to Molalla (24) before a 917-mile journey to Red Lodge, Mont., in time for first of three Independence Day rides. After Red Lodge, it was back in his Dodge for a short, 64-mile jaunt to Cody, Wyo., then caught a flight to Livingston, Mont. - the only way he could arrive on time.

The next day, he found himself 493 miles north at the famous Calgary Stampede, where he rode four consecutive days. Yes, a chance to rest and actually stay in the same city for more than a few hours at a time.

But once he completed his fourth round of qualifying for Sunday's short round, it was back south, a hefty 1,080 miles to Estes Park, where Wright scored 76 on Tuesday.

Then it was to the Norris-Penrose Event Center for his only ride of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Late Wednesday, he set off for Vernal, Utah, a modest seven-hour, 400-mile drive west, where he'll ride Thursday. On Friday, Wright has a ride in Sheridan, Wyo., another 481 miles, then wraps it up Saturday with his fifth ride in Calgary, 668 miles later.

All in all, that's 5,580 miles if you're scoring at home.

Wright, who usually travels with younger brothers Spencer and Alex, but the trio was placed in two different qualifying pools in Calgary, which offers a $100,000 bonus to Sunday's short-round champion.

"It's just me, myself and I, and that's different than normal," Wright said. "I just listen to whatever's on the radio and drink a lot of water. I just have to sleep every chance I get. There's always a short night coming up."

And, for the rest of this week, another road trip on the horizon. At last check, Wright's ride that hauls a camper had 450,000 miles on it. That's, of course, always a moving target.

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