PUEBLO, Colo. – The on-again, off-again saga that is reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood’s hand injury has continued this summer as Lockwood continues to ride at summer Touring Pro Division events.
The injury, which doesn’t affect him when he rides, flared up once again this weekend after he went 2-for-2 to win the Forever West PBR in Sheridan, Wyoming.
“It blew up a little bit that night in Sheridan, but it wasn’t that bad,” Lockwood said. “(Saturday) night at Binford it blew up pretty big. Like I have said, it doesn’t hurt. It just blows up huge.”
Lockwood had originally decided to take some time off following his $75,000 victory at Chad Berger’s Match of Champions event two weeks ago.
However, Lockwood couldn’t resist the urge to hit the road with his brother, Jake, after the swelling in his hand subsided last week.
“My hand was pretty messed up, but I figured I would go up there and then take some time off until the (Calgary) Stampede. Now I will have to because my hand is pretty jacked up again. It is probably as bad as it has been since I first hurt it in Tacoma. It blew up about tennis ball size.”
Lockwood first sprained ligaments in his hand in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he was crushed inside the bucking chutes by Canadian Mist.
He then re-injured the hand attempting to ride Joe Blow in Tacoma, Washington, a week after he returned to competition to win the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, UTB event.
The No. 7 rider in the world standings picked up 60 world points this past weekend by riding Road Trip (86.5 points) and Air Wolf (86 points) in Sheridan.
“That bull is of a good buddy of mine (Kevin Kosel),” Lockwood said. “I have been getting on his stuff ever since, shoot, I was 15, 16 years old going to amateur bull ridings. I had seen that bull before and he is a bucking little sucker to the left. I don’t know if the mud affected him. He is a tiny little bull. He just kind of got lost for a couple seconds out there and then he finally turned back there a ways. He was good, but he wasn’t like he normally was.”
Lockwood trails world leader Kaique Pacheco by 1,205 points.
Rounding out the Top 5 in Sheridan was Keyshawn Whitehorse (2-for-2, 30 world points), Mason Lowe (2-for-2, 20 world points), Rubens Barbosa (1-for-2, 12.5 world points) and Taylor Toves (1-for-2, 12.5 points).
Lockwood later bucked off Stars & Stripes the next night in 7.31 seconds at the Bleacher Builders, LLC Touring Pro Division event in Binford, North Dakota.
He is currently the No. 1 rider in the Touring Pro Division with 220 world points courtesy of six rides in eight attempts.
The Volborg, Montana, bull rider said he will likely be doctoring out of the upcoming Ranchman’s BullBustin' PBR Canada Touring Pro Division event in Calgary on July 2.
Lockwood originally had planned on doctoring out of Sheridan and Binford before changing his mind.
Fans can watch all three nights of competition exclusively on RidePass.
“I need to get my hand right for the Calgary Stampede,” Lockwood said. “Shoot, a week wasn’t good enough after Bismarck. It was pretty bad. Not bad from there, but not great. It is about four times worse this weekend than it was in Bismarck. It didn’t heal good enough.”
RidePass subscribers can also watch the Calgary Stampede beginning on July 6. Lockwood is scheduled to compete in Pool B, which begins on July 10.
Lockwood doesn’t expect the hand to be an issue come the second half of the 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast if he continues to take things cautiously with his riding hand.
If the hand gets to a point where the swelling doesn’t go away, or pain becomes an issue, he will likely get referred to a specialist by Dr. Tandy Freeman.
“I don’t think it should be,” Lockwood concluded. “If it doesn’t get better throughout the summer, or just keeps doing the same, I will go visit Tandy’s hand specialist and figure something out.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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