SALT LAKE CITY — The world’s best cowboy calls Utah home, following in the footsteps of a rodeo legend decades before him.
Over the weekend, Stetson Wright of Milford won the all-around world championship at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Wright became the first Utahn since Lewis Feild in 1987 to win the all-around championship.
“He [Feild] would be off the charts excited. He would have been the first one down to congratulate him,” said Veronica Feild Jackson, Feild's widow.
Feild died of cancer several years ago, but his family is still active on the rodeo circuit. Jackson has sat in the same seat at the National Finals since her late husband won those titles in the 1980s. She was there as Wright joined an elite and legendary group of champions.
“If you could have seen me every single night pulling for him, just jumping out of my seat,” she described. “I wanted it so bad for him.”
Wright’s win brings back memories of Feild’s triumphs. Jackson and her children have countless items of his memorabilia and they still wear his championship buckles. They appreciate the magnitude of what Wright achieved.
“I was always proud to say my dad was a world champion,” said Maclee Anderson, Feild's daughter.
“It won’t be until later that it will hit him — like, 'Oh my gosh,'” Jackson added. “Lewis stayed humble.”
Despite being a legendary cowboy, they say the success never went to Feild's head. They know it will be the same for Wright, because in the death-defying world of rodeo, cowboys ride for their family and their home.
“Really cool to see it come back to Utah,” Anderson said.