COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kalispell bull rider Matt Triplett made his season debut at the Professional Bull Riders 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast Columbus Invitational here over the weekend.
The 26-year-old, who finished third in the 2014 PBR world standings and fifth in 2015, placed 12th with one ride for 86.25 points to earn 50 world standings points. Triplett had not competed this year after undergoing reconstructive left shoulder surgery last November.
Reigning PBR world champion Jess Lockwood of Montana did not compete over the weekend. According to an article on the PBR website, Lockwood skipped the event to rest a lingering riding-hand injury. Lockwood is entered in the PBR Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center May 4-5. It is the third major of the season and the last top-tier stop before the summer break. The article on the PBR website said Lockwood will also ride in the $400,000 purse WRCA Rodeo Showdown at Helldorado Days in Las Vegas.
The previous week in Billings at the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational, Lockwood placed 10th overall. He scored 85 points in the first round, but was bucked off on his next three bulls. Lockwood currently sits eighth in the world standings.
Fabiano Vieira won the event. The Brazilian bull rider scored 86.25 points in the second round on Sunday. He would follow by becoming the first PBR premier series cowboy to cover Big Black, scoring 90.75 points according to a PBR press release. The score tied for the win in the championship round. Vieira, who bucked to an 86-point first-round ride, earned 565 world standings points and is now 12th in the world standings. Overall, Vieira won $37,500 in Columbus.
Claudio Montanha Jr., who won the previous premier series event the week before at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark, finished fourth. His 90.75-point ride tied for the round win in the championship round. Montanha Jr. remains the overall world standings leader.