New York Newbies Thriving in Big Apple

By: Justin Felisko
January 07, 2017

Jess Lockwood rode X Factor 87.25 points Saturday night to go 2-for-2 for the weekend. Photo: Andy Watson /

NEW YORK – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Lockwood and Buttar making the most of first trip to New York (1-7-17)

2016 Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood and Canadian Dakota Buttar are making the most of their first trips to the Big Apple.

Lockwood rode X Factor for 87.25 points in Round 2 for a second-place finish and heads into Championship Sunday leading the event average. He is one of six riders a perfect 2-for-2 in New York.

“Away from my hand again,” Lockwood said. “He really sucked back right away and kind of had me tipped and I kept riding and I was never where I wanted to be but I was working for it and that is what got me to the whistle.

“You want to win every weekend you show up, but when it is a PBR Major you want to try a little bit extra.”

Lockwood got into New York earlier this week and did some media appearances leading up to the event.

The 19-year-old rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning and has done some touring of the city with his family.

“We have gone everywhere kind of,” Lockwood said. “We went to Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge. We have been trying to have fun and do everything.”

Lockwood is definitely having fun inside the bull riding arena and will look for more success Sunday against Pitch Black (0-0, BFTS).

The Volborg, Montana, bull rider isn’t the only newbie in New York hitting 8-second paydays.

Buttar is sitting in fifth place in the event average after riding Time Bomb for 83 points on Saturday night.

Time Bomb previously bucked off Buttar during Round 4 of the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

“I just didn’t want to let go,” Buttar said. “He bucked me off in Vegas and I wanted to get some payback on him.”

Buttar hasn’t done any sightseeing in New York just yet after a long travel day Friday.

The 24-year-old and his girlfriend Caitlin Brooks left Canada at 3 a.m. and didn’t arrive in The City That Never Sleeps until 4 p.m.

Buttar did make sure to grab a slice of New York pizza after his 83.5-point ride on Sarge in Round 1.

“Right after the event, we went and got pizza and went to bed,” Buttar said. “(Saturday), we slept until noon.”

Buttar hopes to do some exploring Sunday night after the conclusion of the Buck Off at the Garden.

He will take on Blue Duck (2-0, BFTS) in Round 3.

“I want to see a couple of things before I leave,” he added. “I would like to go see the Twin Towers memorial.”

Buttar and Lockwood agreed there is something special about competing in the historic venue, which first opened in its current location in 1968 and has been hosting PBR events since 2007.

“I grew up watching it on TV all the time and saw guys at Madison Square Garden,” Buttar said. “I am finally here. It is pretty awesome.”

Lockwood added, “Kind of. I have my mom and cousin with me and that has made a world of a difference. Whenever I can have my family with me, I seem to be a lot more comfortable at the events just because I am still young.”

Fabiano in position to repeat

Fabiano Vieira says many Brazilian bull riders dream about one day competing in New York and he was fortunate enough to tie for the event victory with J.B. Mauney in 2014.

The Perola, Brazil, bull rider hopes on Sunday he can celebrate an outright victory inside MSG.

Vieira (2-for-2) won Round 2 with an 87.5-point ride on Rocco and heads into Round 3 sitting in second place overall.

“I was a little bit scared to ride this bull now,” Vieira said. “Every time he bucks strong. I watched two videos of him with J.B. He is strong. He is no easy bull at all. I needed to concentrate to ride good today. God helped me stay on.”

Vieira has drawn It’s Complicated (0-0, BFTS) for Sunday afternoon.

“Many people in Brazil come over here for this nice event,” Vieira said. “I would be very happy to win again. This is a nice event.”

Davis bounces back from Round 1 buckoff

By no means was it time to panic after reigning World Champion Cooper Davis bucked off Pneu Dart’s Captain in 4.99 seconds during Round 1 on Friday night.

Still, Davis was certainly much happier on Saturday night after getting his first qualified ride of the season.

The 22-year-old finished third in Round 2 with a crisp 86-point ride on Gucci Galore.

“That is a big relief,” Davis said. “The first one of the season is always a little hectic.”

Davis has drawn Pneu-Dart’s Southern Style (1-1, BFTS) for Round 3 on Sunday.

So what happen in Round 1?

“It happens,” Davis said. “You fall off. You win some. You lose some. We still have a long season left. I will take it as it comes.”

Injury Updates

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Ryan Dirteater sustained bruising of his right elbow and right calf when he was stepped on after being thrown by St. Patty in Round 2. He is probable for Round 3.

Jorge Valdiviezo sustained a left shoulder injury (possible fracture, free arm) when he was hit by Shakey’s horn during his second-round buckoff. He is doubtful for Round 3.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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