FORT WORTH, Texas – There might not be a rider in the world hotter than Cody Jesus is right now.
Following the end of the regular season, Jesus headed to Corpus Christi, Texas, for the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals, which he won with a 2-for-3 performance.
“Getting a big win like that before you come to the World Finals, it’s something so cool,” Jesus said. “I was 91 on a bull (Johnny Rocket) away from my hand, and I was having trouble away from my hand for the longest time. To get one rode like that for 91 points, it was something really cool.”
That victory officially punched his ticket to the PBR World Finals, where he has gone a perfect 3-for-3 and leads the event aggregate.
“I’m just feeling good,” Jesus said following Round 3 at Dickies Arena. “I’m just having fun with it, just keeping it really simple and enjoying every moment and every bull I get on.”
Jesus started things off in Round 1 Friday night with 89 points on Short Circuit. He says he was nervous coming in on the first day, and getting that first ride under his belt was huge.
“The first day, there was a lot of nerves, but it all went away as soon as I got my first one done,” Jesus said. “First one out of the way; now it’s just having fun and living in the moment.”
Jesus followed that up with 90.25 points on I’m Legit Too in Round 2. In Round 3 on Sunday, he rode La Grande for 89 points.
“Oh, he was a big dude, for sure,” Jesus said. “That’s what (stock contractor) Tiffany (Davis) was telling me before he ran into the alley. She said, ‘Are you sure your rope’s going to fit him?’ And I said, ‘It should. It fits most of the bulls.’ And I thought she was just playing with me, but man, he runs in, and he’s a big dude. She said, ‘He’ll fit you just good, though. You’ll be either 90 or in the high 80s.’ And it worked out just good.”
The score was good to tie Jesus for fourth place in Round 3 with Kaique Pacheco (89 points on Happy Camper). Luciano de Castro won the round with 90.25 points on Mike’s Motive, followed by Daylon Swearingen (89.5 points on Hey Bartender) and Andrew Alvidrez (89.25 points on Gaume Farms Stickin “n” Movin).
Jesus leads the event aggregate with 268.25 points. The only two other riders a perfect 3-for-3 are battling it out for a world title – Joao Ricardo Vieira (264 points) and Jose Vitor Leme (262 points).
Before Round 2, the in-arena announcers said that Jesus is “90 or nothing,” a characterization that he chuckles at.
“It feels like that,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be 90, and then I hit the ground. And sometimes, when I stay on, and they mark me 90 – I feel like it was starting to be that way. I’ve just got to keep doing my job.”
The 23-year-old says his ability to rise to the occasion and succeed against the world’s rankest bulls was inspired by watching big-time rides and bulls on TV when he was growing up.
“Those are the moments I wanted to live for,” Jesus said. “And to be 90 points at a World Finals or anywhere else is amazing.”
Round 4 will be held on Thursday (10 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network), and the three days off between the two weekends of competition is a new addition to the World Finals. Jesus will need to find the balance of getting some rest and not losing his momentum.
“It could work both ways,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy my break off, take a couple ice baths and get this soreness worked out of me a little bit, hit the gym a little bit. Just have fun.”
But while he’s walking around amongst the vendors and checking out the Fort Worth Zoo, he will take the opportunity to enjoy leading the biggest event in bull riding.
“It’s really cool,” Jesus said. “It’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was 14 years old, riding the bucking barrel in my backyard. But there’s still a lot of bull riding left to do, so that’s my next focus.”
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo By Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media