LAS VEGAS — On a raucous Thursday night inside T-Mobile Arena that bore witness to three 90-point rides, 2017 Professional Bull Riders world champion Jess Lockwood of Volborg delivered a 91.5-point ride in Round 2 of the 2019 PBR Unleash The Beast World Finals to chip away at world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme’s lead atop the standings.
The Montana man, the world's No. 2 rider, is now within 609.16 points of the top spot.
Before the on-the-dirt action, the match-up against Spotted Demon was one that forebode a potentially career-defining moment for Lockwood. One year earlier, the Julio Moreno bovine athlete propelled Marco Eguchi to the Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award, an honor given to the athlete who records the high-marked ride at the PBR World Finals, when he was covered for 94 points.
Lockwood, 22, had twice failed to make the eight-second buzzer on Spotted Demon during 15/15 Bucking Battles. He was first bested in San Jose, California in 2016 in 4.67 seconds and then sent to the dirt in 4.66 seconds in Sacramento in 2017.
This time, however, Lockwood’s 11th 90-point ride of the 2019 season netted him $20,000 and 180 world points. He cut Leme’s lead by 180 points.
On the World Finals event leaderboard, Lockwood is one of four riders to be 2-for-2 thus far at the most prestigious event in bull riding. In Round 1, he rode Silver Back for 86.5 points.
Of the top-three contenders for the season’s World Championship, Lockwood was the lone rider to earn a qualified ride.
Leme’s bid for another 6-for-6 performance at the World Finals came to an end at the 1.9-second mark aboard Danny Boy when he was marked for a slap.
Apart from Lockwood, Round 2 of the 2019 PBR World Finals belonged to Cody Jesus of Window Rock, Arizona, who topped the night with a 92-point ride aboard Lil 2 Train.