This year's Livingston Classic PBR will feature two Montana bull riders! Jess Lockwood and Nevada Newman - Montana’s sons are currently tearing up the PBR Tour with a verve that is turning heads amongst PBR World Champion Bull Riders such as North Carolina’s JB Mauney and Brazil’s Guilherme Marchi.

Andy Watson
Andy Watson


Jacey Watson from the Livingston Classic PBR said about the local riders:

It began this January with the booking of flights and hotels week after week until May. At this point it was a set schedule of flying and checking into rooms. The venues may have different names, but it’s still a building with locker rooms and a hallway leading to the same arena that the same road crew sets up and takes down weekly. For the most part, the faces of competitors gearing up next to you didn’t change much either. Perhaps it’s a taste of the doldrums. Sure, the locations changed – a different city each week. At least that’s something of variance. But, where is the adventure and where is the open road? Isn’t that a cowboy’s genetic make up? A bit of a thread bare gypsy soul? Enter Jess Lockwood and Nevada Newman.


18-year-old Jess Lockwood of Volberg, MT burst on to the PBR scene this spring with a dominating PBR Built Ford Tough Series win in Billings, MT. When asked what the win meant to him, Jess explained with a twinkle in his eye, “Heck, it was just so exciting to be riding in front of my whole family and the home state. Knowing I had a good chance to win the whole thing going into the championship round was great. I grew up dreaming about this, and then suddenly to win, it was so surreal and crazy.”


The roof practically separated (yet again) from its foundation at the Billings Metra when the crowd unleashed its praise for their Montana native son. And Jess hasn’t looked back since. Picking up wins at several events and posting huge bull riding scores of 92 and 93 points, has suddenly cultured a ranking of 15th in the PBR World Standings as well as 3rd in the PBR Rookie race. Not bad for a youngster.

But Lockwood is no lone ranger. He appreciates the company of a fellow bull rider to help share the miles on the black top. This summer you can find 23-year-old Nevada Newman from Melstone, MT alongside Jess as they bump along the PBR trail. For this is the part of the PBR season in which it belongs to PBR Bull Riders who want to boost their standings in the world. Even though the Built Ford Tough Series PBR Tour is on hiatus until August, the PBR Touring Pro events are in full force, thus calling the top 35 PBR Bull Riders in the world to the road, and giving folks the chance to be able to watch them compete in their own backyard. This is what Newman is banking on. He is currently sitting 26th in the PBR World Standings and is working on closing that gap. He and Lockwood are selecting events in which they choose to compete at. The Livingston Classic PBR is on that list. Newman has a history of riding at the Livingston Classic PBR and he feels a kinship once he is standing on the soil. “Livingston just has such a welcoming hometown feel. When I’m there, I get to see people I know and visit with them about Montana things. And I especially like coming to this event because the bulls are the best around and they suit me. It’s just really a fun event to be a part of,” explains Newman.


But, to the newbie, there’s a level of anticipation. “I haven’t rode at the Livingston Classic PBR yet. I’m at least old enough now,” Jess chuckles. “But, heck, I know the surroundings are beautiful and you just can’t beat a Montana crowd. It makes it fun. And, I get to see all my buddies again when I roll into the arena, so I’m looking forward to that.”


And bull riding isn’t the only thing on this duo’s minds. They know there is so much more Livingston has to offer.


“We’re coming in early!” Newman states with a smile. “Jess and I both love to golf and fish, so I know that is on the agenda.”


Lockwood follows up with, “Oh, and yeah, Nevada and I really like to go sight seeing. So, I know we will be taking in the Montana scenery as well as enjoying the happenings that are going on in town that week.”


But, until then, you will find these boys in their rig counting down the miles to their arrival. When asked what it would be like if you were to join them, the responses are comical. Jess depicts the environment to be “very laid back” and they enjoy cracking jokes with one another. “But, when we roll into the bull riding arena, it’s all business.”


Nevada, given he is the veteran, paints a more mature picture. “We talk a lot about bull riding. It’s our life, so of course it is ever present. And we listen to a lot of music, probably because it’s a great way to pass the time. Jess really likes his hip hop. I don’t know, I guess it's a younger generation thing. Me, I like that red dirt country. But, we respect each other and like to listen to each other’s choices.” But, when asked who was the better driver, it seems as if it’s clear. “Definitely me,” proclaims Newman. “Jess makes me nervous, you know. He’s only been driving for two years. I’m much more seasoned.” However, Lockwood argues it’s really more debatable and feels the question should be deferred to a third party.


The rodeo-like life is nothing new to these PBR Bull Riders. Jess is the son of Angie and Ed Lockwood. These two carry multiple Montana Circuit PRCA championships between them. Angie is an accomplished barrel racer and Ed has etched himself in the PRCA as a great saddle bronc rider with classic style. Nevada heralds from the family who owns the great Newman Rodeo Company, a legacy of which his grandfather, Rodney, started several years ago.


These cowboys are no stranger to the lifestyle and find it provides an advantage when the PBR season shifts to more of a grind. Logging miles behind the wheel, weather becoming factors during competition, and dedication to getting those all important extra points to become a PBR World Champion, all tend to take a toll.


“Heck, my family has all done it and they know what I’m going through and they support me and help give me travel hints and tips to get me through,” says Lockwood.


“Same goes for me,” states Newman. “But, it also lets me appreciate the hospitality the PBR family has and it has helped me better realize the bull rider dream. I wish I would have gone straight to the PBR in the early part of my career, but I had my doubts, so I chose to rodeo. It was hard pushing those miles and getting on so many bulls, and it took a toll on my body. But those experiences have set me up for the goals I want to achieve in the PBR.”


In the recent years, Montana has seen a bit of a drought when it comes to this caliber of top bull riders. There’s always been a representative, but now there’s a good hatch fans can keep an eye out for. Matt Triplett, Parker Breding, Jess Lockwood, and Nevada Newman to name a few. And rumor has it, there’s more waiting in the wings from the Big Sky state. Freestone Productions of Three Forks, MT is proud to provide a platform in Livingston, MT at the Livingston Classic PBR in which you can experience this thrill.

More From 100.7 KXLB