It was a tale of two Jesses to begin the bareback riding competition at the 2018 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) – one completing his college career and the other just getting started. Freshman Jesse Pope credits Missouri Valley Coach Ken Mason and world champ Tim O’Connell for his success but observers who’ve been watching Pope for years say he is a natural. He already has an endorsement from Wrangler. O’Connell also attended MVC and won the college finals three years ago. Pope was bareback riding champion in the Ozark Region this year. Jesse Nelson has been riding at the professional level for some time and after two years at Northwest College in Powell, WY the Idaho native transferred to Montana State where he’s a Big Sky Region senior. Nelson and Pope carded identical scores in their first-round bareback rides at the CNFR in Casper, WY on Sunday to go atop the leaderboard. Courtesy of Wrangler Network contributor Charlie Coon.