Columbia Falls bull rider Matt Triplett got off to a rough start at the 2019 PBR Unleash the Beast World Finals at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas over the weekend, but bounced back to finish second at the event and end the season ranked seventh in the world standings.
Triplett lasted just 3.52 seconds in the first round but followed that up with five straight 8-second rides, receiving scores above 86.5 on all five to finish only behind fellow Montana native Jess Lockwood of Volborg.
A 2010 graduate of Columbia Falls High School, Triplett was ranked in the top five in the world rankings in 2015 before a pair of shoulder injuries set him back. After two shoulder surgeries, Triplett returned to competition in 2018 and finished 13th in the PBR world standings.
Triplett has also been selected to represent the United States as part of the PBR World Cup three times. His second-place finish in Las Vegas earned him $172,166, bringing his 2019 earnings to roughly $263,000 and just over $1.2 million for his career.
The 2020 PBR Unleash the Beast season gets underway with the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden Jan. 3-5 at Madison Square Garden in New York.