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California horseman Walter Wright passes away

From the Newstrader - May 19th, 2011 - Newstrader

Courtesy photo


SAN JUAN BAUTISTA — Services were held April 20 for Walter Wright, a lifelong horseman from the San Benito County who left his stamp on the state’s horse industry during his generation. Mr. Wright died peacefully April 12 on his ranch of 45 years.

Proud to have been a lifelong resident of San Benito County, Mr. Wright trained and raised horses his whole life. In his 20s, he boxed and was an avid hunter, and as a youth he rode broncs and went on to show horses. He sold, trained and taught hundreds of people how to ride over the years.

In the 1950s and 1960s he was a cattle rancher in San Benito County. Mr. Wright was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association and a board member of the National Reined Cow Horse Association. Among his many honors, he was Stockhorse Man of the Year in 2002. In 2000, Mr. Wright was the NRCHA leading breeder of Reined Cow Horses. In 2009, his main stallion, ‘Smokum Oak’, was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Other memberships held by Mr. Wright were memberships to the Cowboy Turtle Association, the Cattlemen’s Association, and the San Benito Saddle Horse Association.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sharon, and children, Mitchell (Linda) Richard, Cecilia (Jim), Greg and Justin. He has 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the Wright family graciously asks that donations to the National Reined Cowhorse Association Youth Foundation be placed in Walter Wright’s name. NRCHA, 13181 US Hwy.177, Byers, OK, 74831 or go to www.NRCHA.com to make a donation.

Memorial services will be Wednesday, April 20th, 2011, at 1:00 P.M. at Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Funeral Home in Hollister. A celebration of his life is to follow at Casa Maria (Old Cadmatoris) in San Juan Bautista. Condolences may be sent to www.grunnagle.com

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