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Tough rides at PBR opener

by: PHIL HAWKINS - L.J. Jenkins scored 87 points on his first go riding Rocky of Corey & Lange/Flying Diamond on his way toward a PBR victory July 1 at the St. Paul RodeoWhen it comes to riding bulls, sometimes its not a matter of how well the rider does, just as long as he can hold on.

Such was the case for L.J. Jenkins, who was one of only two men to ride both of his bulls, coming away as the 2014 St. Paul PBR champion Tuesday at the St. Paul Rodeo Grounds.

Jenkins, of Porum, Oklahoma, garnered a combined score of 174 points on two head to win the title. He was joined by Roscoe Jarboe of New Plymouth, Idaho, who scored 139 points on two head to finish second.

Jenkins opened the evening with an 87-point ride on the bull Rocky, of Corey & Lange/Flying Diamond. In the short go-round, he drew the bull Blue Light Special, from the Don Kish rodeo string of Red Bluff, Calif., and doubled his score with another 87.

Jenkins had never been on the bull before, but had seen him buck on television, and at rodeos in the past.

“He had the same track he had three years ago, and I guess you could say I got the pick of the litter in the short round,” he said. “He’s pretty nice, and it all worked out.”

by: COURTESY OF ST. PAUL RODEO - St. Paul Rodeo board member Kevin Smith awards the PBR championship buckle to L.J. Jenkins. The Porum, Okla., cowboy is ranked 13th in the world and is headed to his tenth PBR World Finals this October in Las Vegas. Jenkins is currently ranked 13th in the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series, and while the BFTS is on hiatus, he rides at the Touring Pro Division events.

Although the Touring Pro Division is a notch below the BFTS, points from the TPD count and can make a difference, Jenkins said.

“Five hundred points at the end of the year can make the difference in a world championship and second place,” he said.

At just 26 years old, Jenkins is a seasoned veteran, having qualified for the PBR World Finals for nine straight years. He acknowledged that youth won’t be on his side much longer and is eager to get all he can out of the sport.

“I like coming out and being on the road, and I only have a few more years (of riding bulls), so I want to come while I can.”

Ruth Nicolaus contributed to this story.

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Professional Bull Riding results

July 1 at St. Paul Rodeo Grounds

1. L.J. Jenkins; Porum, Oklahoma — 174 points on two head

2. Roscoe Jarboe; New Plymouth, Idaho — 139 on two head

3. Brady Simms; Holt, Missouri — 88.5 on one head

4. Jay Miller; Liberty, South Carolina — 88 on one head

5. Tyler Bingham; Honeyville, Utah — 86 on one head



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