By: Justin Felisko
June 19, 2016
BISMARCK, N.D. – Jess Lockwood ripped off the white safety bandage wrapped around his head and fiercely threw it down onto the dirt-covered floor of the Bismarck Civic Center late Saturday night.
Sweat and blood slowly trickled down the back of his neck as he intently warmed his bull rope in preparation to face 2012 World Champion Bull Asteroid.
Lockwood had just been dropped by Jack Daniel’s After Party during the championship round of the 16th annual Dakota Community Bank and Trust BlueDEF Tour event, presented by Cooper Tires, and had sustained a slight cut on the back of his head.
The blood and sweat congealed into a darkish, red muddy substance as it blended with the left over dirt coated onto his neck. Lockwood’s father, Ed, looked on as calmly as any parent could in the situation.
His 18-year-old son had wiped the back of his neck with his black riding shirt and confidently jumped onto the back of the bucking chutes with a little hop in his step despite aggravating his partially torn right MCL minutes earlier against After Party.
There was no doubt in Jess’ mind that he was going to get on Asteroid Lockwood told himself.
“I am getting on him even with a broken leg if I have too,” the younger Lockwood thought.
Yet as Lockwood headed toward the bucking chutes, the couple of thousands of fans in attendance whispered sympathies to each other as the announcement was made that Lockwood would get on Asteroid in the bonus round.
They would have completely understood if the recent high school graduate decided not to