OKLAHOMA CITY – Kyle Lockett has chased the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championship before.
It’s that attention to detail that brings the seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier to central Oklahoma just a few times a year, each time for some of the most prestigious events in his sport. He’ll return to the area the first weekend in April to compete for ProRodeo’s National Title at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
“It’s a great honor and a great chance to win a lot of money,” said Lockett of Visalia, Calif., who was in the metro area last weekend for the Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E Arena. “There are not a lot of teams, because they only take two teams from each of the (12) circuits. But there’s a bunch of money and a voucher for a (Ram) pickup, so that’s a good deal.”
Lockett is a two-time winner of the annual Timed Event, which features all-around cowboys who compete in all five timed-event disciplines: heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer roping and steer wrestling. But Lockett is best known as a heeler. It’s how he earned all those trips to the NFR in Las Vegas, competing there for the last time in 2005. It’s also how he will return to the RNCFR, roping with header Marcus Battaglia.
Lockett also competes inside State Fair Arena each fall during the annual USTRC World Championships, so he’s familiar with the surroundings and the history of the building that was home to the NFR when it first moved to Oklahoma City in the 1960s. He’s also familiar with the RNCFR – he also qualified in 2005 and 2007 when the event took place in Pocatello, Idaho.
“It’s a great place to have the (Ram) Finals,” Lockett said. “It’ll be fun to rope in that building.”