Two years ago, Jess Lockwood became the Professional Bull Riders’ youngest world champion at age 20.
But his gold buckle victory was pretty anticlimactic during the World Finals. He stayed on the first three bulls at the Las Vegas championships, but bucked off of his last three.
Though he was thrown off of his final-round bull Sunday at the 2019 PBR World Finals, Lockwood, 22, who has homes in Stephenville and Volborg, Montana, had ridden his first five going into the 15-man final at T-Mobile Arena.
After the dust settled, Lockwood clinched his second PBR world title in three years.
“It was a different finals for me for sure,” Lockwood said of the 2019 World Finals. “I was a different rider now compared to what I was then. I’m a lot more consistent now.”
Lockwood also earned the coveted $1 million bonus that’s traditionally awarded to the PBR world champion for a second time.
During the Nov. 6-10 World Finals, Lockwood turned in attention-grabbing scores of 86.5, 91.5, 92, 91.75 and 91.25. The 91.25 came Sunday afternoon in Round 5.
During the Sunday after-finals round (Round 6), Lockwood was bucked off in 4.59 seconds. But he had the world title clinched as he readied himself in the chute to attempt to stay on his final bull. It was clear Lockwood had clinched the title when Jose Vitor Leme, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, was bucked off of his final-round bull shortly before Lockwood made his last ride.
Lockwood edged Leme in the PBR’s 2019 world title race, which is decided by points earned during the regular season and the World Finals. He finished No. 1 with 8,495 points. Leme, who entered the World Finals ranked No. 1, finished No. 2 in the 2019 title race with 7,642 points. Chase Outlaw, an Arkansas cowboy, finished third with 5,788.33.
Lockwood also clinched the World Finals event title by earning 2,265 points through the six-round competition. He received a $300,000 check for winning that coveted award.
All in all, Lockwood earned $391,550 during the World Finals, plus the $1 million world’s champion’s bonus. Lockwood earned $1,873,731 throughout 2019 on the PBR circuit.
Lockwood turned pro in 2016, and his overall earnings over the past four years at PBR shows are $3,918,473.
Lockwood said he’s a much more mature bull rider today.
“I’m a lot different person period,” he said. “I’m older, I have my own place. I’m married. I have a lot more responsibility on my plate than I had in 2017.”
Lockwood was married Oct. 25 to defending Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racer Hailey Kinsel. The two were wed at her hometown ranch in Cotulla.
Lockwood said he and his wife divide their time between living on ranches in Stephenville, in North Central Texas, and in Montana. Generally speaking, they plan on spending the warmer months of the year in Montana and the colder months of the year in Stephenville, which can have a lot of warmer days, even in the winter months.