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NEW YORK — Jess Lockwood started the defense of his Professional Bull Riders world championship with an 88.25-point ride aboard Birthday Cake on Friday.

Lockwood earned $3,250 and 13 world standings points at the season-opening Unleash The Beast Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden at Madison Square Garden. Lockwood, from Volborg, won this event last year. The stop is a major on the premier series tour.

Eduardo Aparecido placed first with a score of 89.5 and Joao Ricardo Vieira was second with an 89.25. Kaique Pacheco tied for third with Lockwood with an 88.25.

Columbia Falls bull rider Matt Triplett was 19th with a 79.75.

Mason Taylor won the 15/15 Bucking Battle with a score of 90. There were only four successful 15/15 rides. Cooper Davis scored an 89.5, Derek Kolbaba had an 89.25 and Ryan Dirteater registered 88 in the special round.

Round two is Saturday with a 4:45 p.m. Mountain time start.

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