“It all starts with winning events like this,” he said afterward, “staying on your bulls and all you can do is take it one bull at a time.”
The Montana native admitted he was “kind of hesitant picking him” after what happened, last season in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when Lockwood was “embarrassed” after bucking off Big Black.
Lockwood had considered passing on Big Black in favor of Bad Beagle, but ultimately chose Big Black if only to keep anyone else from potentially riding him to victory.
“I’ll pick that bull every time now,” said Lockwood, with a smile.
The Manchester event — or Sunday afternoon’s final two rounds to be exact — was a time of revenge for Lockwood. In addition to Big Black, he also earned 90.5 points on Apocalypse, which had bucked him off two-weeks earlier in New York City.
The second-round win moved Lockwood from 10th in the average to first and gave him the option between Big Black and Bad Beagle.
“That bull, you can’t tell by watching him and he did it to me the first time, he wants you in the well,” said Lockwood, who was competing at the highest level of bull riding for the first time alongside his younger brother Jake. “This time I knew I had to spur to stay out and it worked.”
Longtime Monster Energy rider and a two-time runner-up to the world title, Jose Vitor Leme, won the opening round of the Manchester event with 89 points on Slinging Tears. Because of a new rule — instituted during this past off-season — that allows riders to draft a bull they’ve been on in an earlier round of the same event, Leme selected Slinging Tears and then rode him for another 90.25 points in the Championship Round.
“Last night, he didn’t have a clear out and hit the chute a little bit,” Leme said. “Today, he got a clean out and I did my job.”
Leme finished the event fourth in the average and is currently sixth in the world standings with fellow Monster Energy member Derek Kolbaba splitting ninth in the world.
Lockwood, Leme and Kolbaba along with Marco Eguchi, Cannon Cravens and the rest of the Top 35 bull riders in the world will travel coast to coast for next week’s elite televised event in Sacramento, California.
Sacramento will be the fourth event of a ten-month long regular-season and features a 15/15 Bucking Battle.