TULSA, Oklahoma – In what is developing into an intensely contested race to be crowned the 2019 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion, the world No. 1 ranking once again changed hands in Tulsa. Delivering a flawless 3-for-3 performance inside the BOK Center, 2017 World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) captured his third Unleash The Beast event win of the season at the Express Ranches Classic, presented by Osage Casino and Hotel to surge from No. 3 to No. 1 in the PBR World standings.
The Montana man began the event on Saturday on a strong note. In addition to tying for the win in the event’s accompanying 15/15 Bucking Battle, courtesy of a 92-point ride on Bezerk (BMC Bucking Bulls/Jenkins Cattle Co.), he also finished second in Round 1 after making the 8 aboard Uncle Gangster (Ogden Ranch/Hart Cattle Co.) for 88.5 points.
Continuing the momentum, Lockwood surged to the top of the leaderboard in Round 2 Sunday afternoon when he covered Stunt Man Ray (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) for 88 points.
With the first pick in the championship round draft, the 21-year-old selected Biker Bob (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/H&C Bucking Bulls), a decision which paid dividends.
Marking his fifth 90-point ride of the season, the third most in the league, Lockwood cemented the win when he reached the whistle aboard the bovine athlete for 90 points.
Lockwood left the Sooner State with a check for $38,050, along with 560 world points courtesy of the victory. He catapulted from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world, now leading No. 2 Chase Outlaw (Hamburg, Arkansas) by a slim 20 points.
The shifting world standings reflects the tight title race that has played out all season long. The Top 3 are separated by 163.34 points, while the Top 4 are within 877.5 points of one another.
This is the second time Lockwood has been ranked the world No. 1 thus far in 2019. He held the position for the first nine weeks of the season, due large in part to back-to-back wins at the first two events of the season in New York City and Chicago.
He inevitably was surpassed after a broken collarbone sustained during the PBR Global Cup USA in February relegated him to the sidelines for three months.
Lockwood is now one of just three riders to win the Tulsa event in multiple seasons. He joins J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina) who won in 2015 and 2013, and Kody Lostroh (Longmont, Colorado) who claimed titles in 2012 and 2009.
Historically, of the past 10 World Champions, six have won the Tulsa event en route to capturing the coveted gold buckle. Those riders are: Lockwood (2017); Cooper Davis (2016); Mauney (2015, 2013); Renato Nunes (2010); and Lostroh (2009). Also going a perfect 3-for-3 in 2017, Lockwood entered Tulsa that season ranked No. 4 in the world, 865 points behind No. 1 Eduardo Aparecido. The win elevated him to No. 3 and allowed him to cut the disparity to 340 points.
Recording his best event finish of the year on the elite tour, Cody Nance (Paris, Tennessee) concluded the Tulsa stop second, netting $14,550 and 285 world points.
Nance’s march to the runner-up effort began in Round 1 when he rode Buckeye Bill (K-C Bucking Bulls) for 86.75 points to position him seventh heading into Championship Sunday.
Following an 85.5-point ride on Barn Cat (Halpain/Long) in Round 2, the Tennessee rider remained perfect in the final round when he rode Apper’s Mind Freak (Jo-Z Bucking Bulls/B-C Bucking Bulls/Spark-Lin Acres) for 87.5 points.
Slipping down the standings after a dislocated left hip sustained in Kansas City sidelined him for nearly two months, Nance gained crucial ground in the world title race. Ranked No. 32 prior to the event, Nance is now No. 18 as he looks to capture his first gold buckle.
Brazilian sensation and defending Tulsa event winner Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) finished third.
A dominant force on Sunday afternoon, Leme won both Round 2 and the championship round, riding Identity Crisis (Bill Henson/Gene Owen/Braindead Cattle Co.) for 89.25 points and Hostage (Hart Cattle Co./Hale/Randy Wood) for 91.25, respectively.
The 90-point ride in the final round marked Leme’s league-leading ninth of the 2019 season.
For his efforts, he earned $16,680 and 265 world points. He is now the No. 3 ranked rider in the world, 163.34 points behind No. 1 Lockwood.
Fourth went to home state favorite Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma), earning him $5,810 and 205 world points.
His 8-second efforts were earned aboard Test Me (GT Bucking Bulls/Cody Garrett) for 86 points in Round 1, Red Bandana (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Staci Wilks/N Bar Ranch/Chase Bass) in Round 2, and M.A.G.A. (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) for 86.75 points in the championship round.
Maintaining his world No. 9 ranking, he is now within 2,581.67 points of No. 1 Lockwood.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Rookie of the Year contender Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas, Brazil).
Continuing the momentum he generated at the prior Unleash The Beast event, finishing second at the Last Cowboy Standing Major in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Divino was the final rider to go a perfect 3-for-3.
He rode Skeeter Peter (Owens/Smith) for 84.75 points in Round 1, Trail of Tears (CG Bucking Bulls) for 86.25 points in Round 2, and Stretch (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) for 86.75 points in the championship round.
Divino earned $4,500 and 142.5 world points, rising from No. 11 to No. 10 in the world. The finish also allowed him to further cement his lead atop the Rookie of the Year standings. He now leads the No. 2 rider in the race, Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York), by 160 points.
Smooth Operator (Dakota Rodeo/Julie Rosen/Clay Struve/Chad Berger) was the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the event after earning a monstrous 46-point score during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle. He earned the event’s top marks after dispatching Dirteater in 2.56 seconds.
The bull of the event honor was Smooth Operator’s league-best fourth of the season. He was previously the top bovine athlete in Chicago, Los Angeles and Tacoma. In the World Champion Bull race, the trip helped him close the gap on current No. 1 Smooth Wreck (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Diamond Willow). Entering the event 0.19 points behind the top spot, Smooth Operator now trails the world No. 1 ranking by a mere 0.03 points.
Fans can relive all the action from the Express Ranches Classic, presented by Osage Casino and Hotel, Monday, August 12, starting at 8:00 a.m. EDT on RidePass.com or via the RidePass mobile app.
The PBR Unleash The Beast will next travel to Houston, Texas, and the Fertitta Center for the WinStar World Casino and Resort Houston Invitational, presented by Bass Pro Shops on August 17-18.
PBR Unleash The Beast
Express Ranches Classic, presented by Osage Casino and Hotel
BOK Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jess Lockwood, 88.5-88-90-266.50-560 Points.
2. Cody Nance, 86.75-85.5-87.5-259.75-285 Points.
3. Jose Vitor Leme, 65.5-89.25-91.25-246.00-265 Points.
4. Ryan Dirteater, 86-86-86.75-258.75-205 Points.
5. Lucas Divino, 84.75-86.25-86.75-257.75-142.5 Points.
6. Daylon Swearingen, 0-88.5-88.75-177.25-130 Points.
7. Dalton Kasel, 88.75-0-0-88.75-105 Points.
8. Kurt Shephard, 87.25-0-84.5-171.75-60 Points.
9. Brennon Eldred, 0-88.25-0-88.25-55 Points.
(tie). Rubens Barbosa, 87.5-0-0-87.50-55 Points.
11. Alisson De Souza, 73.5-81.25-81-235.75-45 Points.
12. Cody Jesus, 0-86.5-0-86.50-30 Points.
13. Chase Outlaw, 87-0-0-87.00-27.5 Points.
(tie). João Ricardo Vieira, 87-79.25-0-166.25-27.5 Points.
15. Derek Kolbaba, 85.5-84.75-0-170.25-10 Points.
(tie). Mason Taylor, 82-84.5-0-166.50-10 Points.
17. Michael Lane, 0-86-0-86.00-2.5 Points.
18. Dener Barbosa, 86.25-0-0-86.25
19. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-85.5-0-85.50
20. Ezekiel Mitchell, 85-0-0-85.00
21. Cody Teel, 84.5-0-0-84.50
22. Silvano Alves, 82-0-0-82.00
(tie). Danilo Carlos Sobrinho, 0-82-0-82.00
24. Scottie Knapp, 78.25-0-0-78.25
25. Nathan Burtenshaw, 66.25-0-0-66.25
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Joe Frost, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Antônio Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0.00
Fabiano Vieira, 0-0-0-0.00
Lane Granger, 0-0-0-0.00