As we look back at the last two nights of bull riding action one thing comes to mind, you never know what to expect when the cowboys of the Professional Bull Riders come to town in Sioux Falls, South Dakota! Even though this is only the fourth year that the tour has made its mark on the city, it has quickly become one of the marquee events throughout the year that begins to shape up what the world standings race would look like come November. This year has continued that trend with anyone of the top eight bull riders coming into this afternoon’s championship Sunday performance with a chance at leaving as the new world number one man. Along with that, the match-ups today will give us a very good opportunity to rewrite some spots in the PBR history books with a shot at seeing some of the most memorable rides in the history of the organization!
When we look back on the first two rounds we have seen some moments that left us speechless as we watched the injury bug continue to cause chaos among the best in the business on both sides of the coin. As the event began it was announced to the world had lost the legendary bucking bull Smackdown earlier in the week. If that was not enough, we also had to watch Emilio Resende go out of action with a separated shoulder while Matador Bullfighter Shorty Gorham sustained an ankle injury in round two which was thought to be broken. We were all relieved to hear that Dr. Tandy Freeman had said X-rays showed negative and released him to spring back into action next week in Tacoma which would give all those cowboys in the locker room and his partners on the dirt a sigh of relief!
Jess Lockwood Continues To Impress With A Round Three Win
Photo Credit: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
Once the doors had opened and the fans began to pour into the Denny Sanford Premier Center for Championship Sunday many scenarios had a chance to play out before our very eyes once round three began later in the afternoon. Coming into today’s round there had been eighteen qualified rides made but would be cut down by one with the injury to Emilio Resende. This meant that anyone could still come from behind and make a last-ditch effort to make it to the championship round. That being said, there would be three that would be coming into the day a perfect 2-for-2 all but securing their spot in the later round but would still need a solid performance to give them a better pick in the championship round draft later in the day. Each and every fan was on the edge of their seats even before the first bull was bucked waiting to see how it would all play out!
Just as we talked about last night, Sunday would be the day that Matt Scharping would bring his bovine athletes out to play but they would not be the only ones making their return to the arena earlier this afternoon. Like other three-day events throughout the season, the bulls that would impress Cody Lambert the most would be invited to come back again and showcase their talents in the final round, news that the cowboys did not want to hear. Following suit from the previous two nights, there would again be eight of the top bull riders in the world that would manage to learn from their mistakes and earn a qualified ride. After all was said and done no one could match the effort that Jess Lockwood put up against Owens/Wyatt’s Hangman to earn a whopping 88 point score and earn a round win on Sunday afternoon!
Complete Breakdown Of Round Three Qualified Rides From Sioux Falls:
Jess Lockwood (88.00) Valdiron de Oliveira (85.75)
Stetson Lawrence (85.50) Claudio Montanha jr. (85.00)
Cooper Davis (84.50) Jose Vitor Leme (83.25)
Kaique Pacheco (83.00) Cody Nance (82.50)
Jess Lockwood Leaves Sioux Falls With A Championship Round Win
Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease
Once the intense qualifying rounds were complete and the arena floor was prepped for the championship round showdown on CBS Sports Network, it was time to turn the lights back on and get down to business to see who would leave with the final round win of the weekend. Before we could watch the last fifteen match-ups we first needed to figure out who was in and who was out and what event ending injuries were sustained by who. If you think that was a mouth full then you are feeling the exact same way we were as we waited to see who would make the drawback and who would not. Once things were all sorted out it was time to sit back and listen to the choices these cowboys had to make as the Championship Round Bull Draft was about the begin, where we would find out who was feeling confident and who just had to run through the motions.
Usually, when we get to a championship round we expect to see the like of the bovine athletes that we have already seen earlier in the weekend with many top-level bulls taking their toll on the cowboys throughout the first three rounds. Even as many of them were already done for the weekend, there were a few left to show their might in the final round match-ups that would include the legendary bucking bull Pearl Harbor who was waiting whoever had the guts to choose him. Last night, Brennon Eldred told those watching on Ride Pass that he was disappointed that Sweet Pro’s Bruiser was not in the draw and after a short pause he got a smile on his face and said there is always Pearl Harbor and left it at that! After all was said and done, there would be three of the fifteen that would be able to earn a qualified ride, being led by Jess Lockwood once again who would cover Jane Clark / Gene Owen’s Big Dutch for 91 points and a championship round win!
Jess Lockwood Celebrates His Event Win In Sioux Falls
Photo Credit: Rokin’ K Photos / Jeana Wilson-Kilcrease
Once the grueling weekend had come to an end the First Premier Bank First Premier Bankcard Invitational event champion to be crowned was all that was left before the doors shut of the fourth edition of this great event here in Sioux Falls. After a brief intermission to compare all of the judge’s scores and to verify everything it was time to do just that in front of the sold-out crowd that packed the Denny Sanford Premier Center to the rafters that waited anxiously for the time to come. As the main focus turned to the top of the shark cage it as time to announce to those still watching to your 2018 event champion Jess Lockwood after dominating the weekend and earning a much-needed event win while going an astounding 3-for-4 and earning 760 world title race points bringing him all the way up to the number seven spot in the current world standings, just 215 points behind the world number one Ramon de Lima as we look to our next event in one short week’s time in Tacoma, Washington!
After a very interesting event here in Sioux Falls, it is safe to say that the last four events that remain before the long summer break will be some that you will not want to miss which starts next weekend in Tacoma, Washington. One thing that is for sure is that longtime Unleash The Beast bull rider Stormy Wing will not make the trip west after using up his last injury exemption this weekend without being able to climb into the top 35 in the world standings but it is safe to say that it will not be long until we see him again. As we say goodbye to one, for the time being, we also need to focus on the world standings race with any of the top eight guys able to take over the number one spot with an event win at any point over the next four events. Everyone is trying to find their last breaths as we work our way closer to closing out the first have of the 2018 season in Las Vegas in just about a months time!
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