Bareback Rider Jess Pope Wins First Gold Buckle, Third Straight NFR Average Title
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
After winning back-to-back Average titles to start his NFR career, Jess Pope kicked in the door and won the ultimate prize in 2022 - a Gold Buckle.
“All of the people who have helped me all along since I was 7-years-old, that’s what it’s about, that’s who this is for,” Pope said.
Pope finished as the No. 1 man in the world despite missing all of July due to injury. Upon his return, he battled with Cole Reiner for the No. 1 spot and ultimately trailed by about $1,000 coming into the NFR.
Pope just had to make the whistle in Round 10, but he said that didn’t change the task at hand.
“Exact same routine, strong mark out, tuck your chin through your back bone and go do your job,” he said. “Tonight was no different than the first round here or getting on everywhere all over the summer. All of this is the reward for the whole year, not just tonight.”
Pope finished with $390,602 and won the world by more than $70,000 with Kaycee Feild finishing second with $316,490. Feild was the Round 10 winner and finished third in the Average, Cole Franks was second.
At the NFR, Pope placed in 8 rounds in 2022 to go along with wins in Rounds 3 and 7. He was 860 points on 10 head in the Average.