Konawa's Colten Jesse heads into PBR Tour's Bullnanza riding a hot streak
No bull rider on the PBR Tour entered Bullnanza at the Lazy E Arena this weekend hotter than Colten Jesse of Konawa.
The PBR's 2018 runner-up for rookie of the year snatched his first premier series win last weekend in Bismarck, North Dakota, going three for three on bulls and clinching the victory with a 92.25 score on the bull Sky Harbor in the championship round. It was the highest score of the weekend.
He moved into fourth in the PBR world standings and hasn't finished out of the top three in four of the last five events.
Jesse is riding a hot streak that has lifted his confidence and thrust him into the world championship contention. The way the 23-year-old Citizen Potawatomi tribal national member is riding, he can't wait until he gets on his next bull.
"I am just chomping at the bit, so to speak," Jesse said before Friday night's opening round of Bullnanza. "I just look forward to every weekend and every opportunity to do my best. I am just in a good place."
Jesse was a last minute scratch from Bullnanza on Friday night after he was not cleared to compete, PBR officials said.
Jesse entered the 2020 season on a mission after missing most of last year with a shoulder injury. In May 2019 at the PBR event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jesse made it to the eight-second whistle and scored 88.25 on Bushwhacked, the son of the legendary bucking bull Bushwacker. However, at the end of the ride, Jesse dislocated his shoulder.
"When I hit the ground, I had my free arm stuck out and it popped my shoulder right out and tore some stuff up in in there," Jesse said.
Reconstructive surgery was required and Jesse wouldn't compete again until the PBR World Finals, getting into the championship event as the second alternate.
"I got to end the season riding in the finals," Jesse said. "That kind of lit a fire in me. I came back hungrier than ever."
Jesse grew up in Konawa wanting to be a bull rider. His grandfather, dad and uncle all were bull riders.
"It was kind of like, I don't want to say it was destined to happen, but it was something I always wanted to do," he said. "My parents never forced me. They always gave me a choice and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be and I never wanted to be anything else."
Right now, he is making the most of it. His victory in Bismarck last weekend was the first time in seven events that someone other than a Brazilian has won on the tour.
Bull riders Jose Vitor Leme and Joao Ricardo Vierva of Brazil currently sit first and second in the PBR world standings, followed by Montana's Jess Lockwood and Jesse, who is certainly in the hunt for a world title as the second half of the season begins.
Bullnanza concludes on Saturday with a 12:45 p.m. matinee performance at the Lazy E Arena. Jesse also planned to compete in Saturday night's bull riding during the Stampede at the E, a World Champions Rodeo Alliance event. The WCRA rodeo begins at 7 p.m.
Fan capacity is limited to 50% inside the Lazy E Arena because of COVID-19.
When: 12:45 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lazy E Arena in Guthrie
More info: pbr.com