LAS VEGAS — The magic continued for Montana bull riders at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals on Wednesday.
Columbia Falls bull rider Matt Triplett won the first round of the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast World Finals at the T-Mobile Arena.
The 27-year-old Triplett continued his hot streak after returning to the arena after reconstructive shoulder surgery.
Triplett rode Little Tucker for 89.25 points to earn $35,000 and 300 points toward the world standings.
"He should have bucked me off. I kept shoving my feet down and hanging on," Triplett said in a press release from the PBR. "My dad taught me my whole life, you don't quit until your head hits the ground."
With the round victory, Triplett moved up three spots in the world standings from 16th to 13th.
Defending PBR world champion Jess Lockwood of Volborg, who missed the latter part of the season with a groin injury, placed 12th with a score of 84.75.
Overall, 13 bull riders stayed aboard for eight seconds to record scores.
According to the PBR release, Triplett's score on Wednesday is the second best recorded by the cowboy in five appearances at the season-ending event. Triplett's top ride at the World Finals was for 92 points during the second round in 2014.
The successful, winning ride was Triplett's first since he sprained his right wrist in the championship round in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Oct. 14. Triplett won in Greensboro for $37,200.
The PBR World Finals continue daily through Sunday.