Young Guns: The Five Best Cowboys 20 And Under

By Lincoln Shryack

Inspired by 20-year-old Jess Lockwood and his impressive round one victory last night at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, we’re highlighting the rodeo young guns who are making the most noise in the professional ranks.

These cowboys are all 20 years old or younger, and each man has been among the very best in their respective disciplines in 2017. With these five leading the way, an exciting future awaits rodeo fans.

1. Jess Lockwood | 20 | Bull Riding

The youngster from Montana kicked off PBR’s main event on Wednesday with a 90.25 ride to win round one; he moved up to third in the PBR world standings. Although it was his first successful ride at World Finals after whiffing in 2016, the result comes as no surprise given Lockwood’s incredible season to date. In January, the 20-year-old — then 19 — won the season opener in New York City, and has since collected three more wins in the Built Ford Tough Series, quite the follow-up to a rookie of the year season from a year ago.

2. Ryder Wright | 19 | Saddle Bronc Riding

We highlighted the Utah teen earlier in the season as one of ProRodeo’s most improved, as Wright, like Lockwood, has been even better in his sophomore season after a stellar rookie campaign. Wright burst out of the gates at NFR 2016 by winning the first four rounds, ultimately propelling him to a fourth-place finish in the world standings. If the young gun rides like he did at NFR last season, this December could bring a gold buckle for the 19-year-old, as he’ll enter Las Vegas six spots higher than a year ago.

3. Koal Livingston | 19 | Bull Riding

Although PBR rookie Livingston has been understandably overshadowed by his fellow bull rider Lockwood, the 19-year-old Texan deserves a nod here for being the youngest rider at this year’s World Finals. Livingston currently sits in seventh in the rookie of the year race after collecting $52,214 in his first PBR campaign.

4. Boudreaux Campbell | 19 | Bull Riding

The PRCA rookie wasted no time in earning an NFR qualification to kick off his pro career. Campbell has picked up four PRCA-sanctioned wins in 2017 and heads to Vegas with more than $88,000 in his pocket. The Texas teen is the only PRCA rookie bull rider to qualify for National Finals Rodeo.

5. Cooper Martin | 20 | Tie-Down Roping

Martin deserves some “most improved” recognition of his own after qualifying for his first NFR in 2017. The Kansan roper was only 33rd in the 2016 standings, but Martin shot up to 14th this go-round after earning nearly $50,000 more compared to a year ago. With his $85,438 total from this breakout campaign, the 20-year-old has surpassed his previous career earnings before even arriving in Vegas.

Rising Star: Caydence Roberts, 10-Year-Old All-Around Cowgirl

Photo by: Boaz Dov Elkes

This next Rising Star has so many accomplishments that I had to double-check her age because it was hard to believe a 10-year-old could do so much in her young career. Barrel racing and all-around titles came flying in as soon as this youngster could compete, and her reserve champion title at the 2017 Junior NFR introduced her to us in the No. 57 spot in The Rank against barrel racers in older age groups and from around the country. 

Crawley Continues His Roll, Rookie Wins Bulls At Redding

© Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Rodeo fans packed it in to watch the Redding Pro Rodeo in Redding, California, last week. The mid-May rodeo handed out nearly $170,000 to PRCA contestants, including saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley, who has been the only name we've seen in the No. 1 spot in the standings for months. 

How To Watch The 33rd Annual Championship Jr Roping Roundup

© Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 Barry Burk Championship Jr. Roping Roundup is streaming LIVE on FloRodeo from May 25-28 at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum and Fairgrounds in Ardmore, Oklahoma. You can't go far in the world of tie-down roping without knowing the name "Burk"—there are many accomplished competitors who have rodeo'd under that name, including the event's namesake: 17-time WNFR qualifier Barry Burk. 

Rodeo Recap: Crane And Gloria Both Win Bracket-Style Events

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Tournament- or bracket-style competitions were all the rage over the weekend with both the Duvall’s 40th Annual Steer Wrestling Jackpot hosting the “Battle Royale” competition and the PBR hosting Canada’s first bracket-style Iron Cowboy competition. Both of these tournaments included some upsets that made them exciting right until the last run and ride. 

Get Ready For The 33rd Annual Championship Junior Roping Roundup

© Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The 33rd Annual Championship Junior Roping Roundup kicks off this week in Ardmore, Oklahoma! See some of the best young tie-down ropers and breakaway ropers compete at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum and Fairgrounds.

Rising Star: Cooper Cano, 14-Year-Old Roughstock Cowboy

First, he was told his horse was too big. Then, he decided to just get on the ones that bucked instead. Cooper Cano caught the rodeo bug as a toddler when he rode his horse up to the registration booth at the St. Paul Rodeo and tried to join in on the fun. 

Rodeo Recap: Mucho Dinero & Pedro Double Win, We Love Rodeo Moms

© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The second rodeo weekend in May was quieter in the PRCA after a larger push last weekend. Although the checks were smaller, big names like Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, Tiany Schuster, Jacobs Crawley, and Sage Kimzey still came out to play and add another win to the many it will take to qualify for the WNFR. 

Something In The Water: Rodeo Champion Hotspots

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Maybe it’s something in the water.

Rear Back And Enjoy Photos From The Guymon Pioneer Days

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Rear back on a Sunday morning and enjoy some of the best photos from the 2018 Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo in Guymon, Oklahoma. PRCA competitors battled it out for $233,874 in prize money and the rodeo's truly unique championship belts—not belt-buckles.

Rising Star: Dawson Stewart, 18-Year-Old Steer Wrestler

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After a strong showing at the 2017 Junior NFR in Las Vegas, Dawson Stewart debuted on The Rank in the No. 4 spot. Four events into the Ote Berry Junior Steer Wrestling World Championship tour season, Stewart has climbed the ranks and now sits at No. 1 in the Steer Wrestling Rankings.