The message from L.J. Jenkins was short, but it
carried an impact.
Three days after winning the bull riding average at last week's season-ending PRCA event, he took to his Facebook page and posted, "Thanks for all the support at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo!"
The 24-year-old seemingly came from nowhere to win the 10-day event.
It was the second time the Missouri native went to Las Vegas and surprised everyone by winning. In 2006, as a second-year rider in the PBR, he won the PBR World Finals average.
Coming off his best season in the PBR since he finished seventh that year, Jenkins followed up his eighth-place ranking in the PBR by qualifying for the NFR as the 14th ranked rider in the PRCA.
L.J. Jenkins notched two BFTS event wins in 2011.
After covering only one of his first four bulls, he rode five of
his last six to take control of the average, win the event and move
up 11 places in the standings to finish third overall.
He covered his last three and took second in the eighth round, while splitting second and third in the final round with an 87.5 on Mr. Slim to claim the event average.
Shane Proctor, who won the gold buckle as the PRCA champion, and Jenkins - two PBR riders - finished in the Top 3 despite an abbreviated PRCA schedule by comparison to the others ranked in the Top 15.
Both Jenkins and Proctor maintained a fulltime slate of Built Ford Tough Series events in 2011.
Proctor was injured in the final round when he hung up and broke his left arm above the shoulder. He is scheduled to undergo surgery in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, and will miss eight to 12 weeks.
Both have indicated their intent to maintain a dual PBR and PRCA slate of events again this coming year.
Jenkins is expected to be in the draw for the Cowtown Classic later this month in Fort Worth, Texas. The Touring Pro event, which takes place Dec. 30 and 31, is the last opportunity for the Top 40 riders to take part in a competitive event before the Built Ford Tough Series commences in New York on Jan. 6, 7 and 8 at Madison Square Garden.
NEWS & NOTES
IT'S PRONOUNCED "CARNEY": Six 2011 World Finals qualifiers - Kody Lostroh, Jordan Hupp, Dustin Elliott, Cord McCoy, Harve Stewart and Pistol Robinson - will be in the draw for this weekend's Touring Pro event in Kearney, Neb. Saturday's event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., also features Brendon Clark and Dusty Ephrom as well as Matt Bohon, Travis Briscoe, Josh Faircloth, Jared Farley, Josh Koschel, Dusty LaBeth, Ty Pozzobon and Zack Brown. Tickets can be purchased at the Buffalo Co. Fairgrounds, J.R.'s Western Wear or online at www.vlazysnow.com.
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