Bull rider Matt Triplett is one of 12 American cowboys chosen to represent their country at the Professional Bull Riders Global Cup next month in Arlington, Texas.
Triplett, 27, is fresh off a comeback season on the PBR that included a round-one win at the Unleash the Beast World Finals in November. The Columbia Falls High School graduate was in the top five in the year-end world rankings as recently as 2015 before a series of injuries slowed his career. He returned to competition last May and finished 2018 ranked 13th in the world standings.
The Global Cup is billed as the world’s only nation-versus-nation bull-riding competition and will take place Feb. 9-10 at AT&T Stadium. The third-annual tournament was held in Sydney, Australia last year.
Triplett is part of USA-Eagles, a six-man team that includes fellow Montanan Jess Lockwood (Volborg) and is coached by Justin McBride, a two-time world champion who selected the riders. Other members of Team USA-Eagles include Cooper Davis, Cody Nance, Chase Outlaw and Cody Teel.
Six Native American bull riders will also be competing as part of Team USA-Wolves: Cannon Cravens, Justin Granger, Ryan Dirteater, Stetson Lawrence, Keyshawn Whitehorse and Cody Jesus. A press release issued by the PBR declared the Wolves team is “poised to make modern sports history as the first all-Native American team competing at a major league sporting event.”
Triplett was supposed to make his Team USA debut at the inaugural Global Cup in 2017 but was unable to compete due to a shoulder injury. He did appear in last year’s event, finishing ninth overall and second among Team USA riders. Brazil won the 2017 event, followed by Australia and Canada.