Zero In: Jess Pope Gets Third Average and First World Title
It was just a matter of time for Jess Pope, who claimed his first World Title in 2022. In his previous two seasons, he won the average the at NFR but came up just short of a World Title. This year he changed that after having a great regular season and being his usual self at the 2022 NFR.
Here is a look at Jess Pope’s 2022 season by the numbers.
Pope is not a cowboy who will get on 100 broncs a season; this year was no different. While he was injured for a portion of 2022 he still managed to get on 72 broncs. He made those rides count, averaging a career-best 84.85 points per ride which led to 24 go-round wins. Those 24 round wins were double his previous career high.
Maybe the most remarkable part of Pope’s 2022 season is that more than half of his qualified rides went for 85 points or more, including five 90-point or higher rides.
Pope cleared himself from the field in March with a $50,000 win at Rodeo Houston. After injuring himself in late June, causing him to miss all of July, Pope would enter the 2022 NFR in second place behind Cole Reiner.
Pope went into the 2022 NFR as the two-time defending Average Champion but was still in search of his first World Title. In his previous two NFR appearances, Pope had ridden all 20 broncs for an average score of 86.3 points.
The 2022 NFR was no different. Pope went 10-for-10 and averaged 86 points per ride to win the average by eight points. Not only would it be the third straight Average Title for Pope, but it also locked in his first career World Title.
Pope’s consistency should come as no surprise. The NFR is the biggest stage in rodeo, but for Pope, it is the same routine as any other ride.
“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.”
When it was all said and done, Pope earned $390,620 on the season which was nearly $75,000 more than Kaycee Feild, who finished in second place.