DEADWOOD — Jess Lockwood came into Saturday night as the PBR Touring Pro Division event leader after the opening performance on Friday night having posted an 89.5 at the Days of '76 grounds.
Currently ranked fourth in PBR world standings, the 21-year-old cowboy has been on a hot streak since coming back a few weeks ago from a broken collarbone suffered in February having tallied a top three score in five of his last six trips out of the chute.
On a night with temperatures in the high 30s and a very muddy arena from recent rains assuring that bull rider a free mud bath, Lockwood, the 2017 world champion didn’t disappoint Saturday night either. Turning in the only qualified ride of the championship short-go, the Volborg, Montana, cowboy turned in a 91-point ride — the best of the weekend — to claim the top money in the 4th annual Deadwood PBR bull riding event.
Lockwood’s 268.5 aggregate on three head topped a tightly packed field with 20-year-old Mason Taylor, the defending PBR Deadwood champion, earning second-place money with a 178 score on two head.
“Deadwood has been great to me,” Taylor said. “This event just fires me up so much. When I won here, I had just turned 18 and this was my first PBR event win, so to come here and ride is a whole different atmosphere for me.”
Taylor attributed his solid weekend performance to doing it his way.
You have free articles remaining.
“He really bucked and wanted to keep me off in there, but I’ve just decided to quit trying to impress everybody and just try to do me,” Taylor said.
Young gun Dalton Kasel, a Howard College product on his way to the College National Finals Rodeo next week, claimed third with a 177.5 point showing on two head including an impressive 89-point ride in the Saturday long round.
Kasel, the defending college national champion, came to Deadwood convinced he could ride with the big boys.
“Yes sir I was planning on doing well,” Kasel said. “But then again, I never plan on losing really. I’d seen the bull before and I knew he was a good bull so I was excited to have him. I didn’t really know what he was going to do but it worked out. And you can’t think too much anyway or they will get you.”
World No. 3 ranked Chase Outlaw advanced to the short-go but the Arkansas cowboy exited early, a situation that comes with the sport despite the best of efforts.
“If it could be put down in words, I would be a millionaire right now,” Outlaw said while describing the unpredictable nature of a sport. “It’s a fistfight from beginning to end, and you just have to trust your body to be able to make the moves wherever they need to be to allow you to stay on the back of the bull. And sometimes you don’t.”