For local high school cowboy Tanner Lockhart, the trophies just keep coming. Fresh off a ninth-place finish at the National High School Finals Rodeo, Lockhart kept his hot streak alive, winning the saddle bronc event at the Little Britches National Finals Rodeo.
With the win, Lockhart captured the World Champion Saddle Bronc title, leaving little doubt that the Dolores High School senior is one of the brightest young rodeo stars in the Southwest.
Kicking off his competition at the Little Britches National Finals, Lockhart recorded a first-round score of 72 points. Lockhart's first round score was solid, placing him in second behind Oklahoma cowboy Shade Etbauer's score of 76 points.
During the second round of competition, Lockhart turned in the top individual performance of any cowboy, scoring 69 points. Etbauer placed third in the second round, scoring 65 points.
With Lockhart and Etbauer tied entering the short go, Lockhart put on a show, scoring 72 points to win the round. Etbauer scored 67 points in the short go, leaving Lockhart all alone at the top.
"It felt pretty good to get the win," said Lockhart. "I had a great competition with Shade Etbauer. Everything came down to the last horse. I drew a great horse for the short go, and everything worked out."
For Lockhart, the victory was especially sweet because it locked up the world title, which is awarded to the season's top point scorer.
"Winning the world title was pretty exciting," explained Lockhart. "Going into the (Little Britches National Finals), I didn't really think that I would be able to win the title. Being world champion is going to take a while to sink in."
As a reward for his wins, Lockhart received a world champion trophy saddle, five trophy buckles, a college scholarship, a boot/spur rack, boots and gift certificates. The scholarship money was especially rewarding for Lockhart because he plans to attend college in Texas after his graduation from Dolores High School.
"The scholarship money will help a lot," said Lockhart. "College is expensive. All the scholarship money that I have won in rodeo will make it possible to go to school far away from home."
After his recent victories, Lockhart plans to continue working hard and competing for titles. If recent results provide any indication, Lockhart's name will be atop many leaderboards in the near future.