BILLINGS — Matt Triplett couldn’t hit Montana at a better time.
The Columbia Falls cowboy is ranked 13th in the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) world standings and, at age 27, is truly bringing it right now.
“Yeah, I started drawing some really good bulls and they fitted me really well,” Triplett told MTN Sports. “It started off with Hocus Pocus, a bull from D&H, a bull that hadn’t really been rode on tour. He bucked me off, I got a re-ride because I didn’t call for him and that’s when it started. I was 89.5, it gave me a top-five finish and the next week I went on and rode two more and got a top-three finish.”
The only thing slowing Triplett down right now was a brush with injury last week in Sioux Falls.
“I rode my bull, but the second round bull I got a little concussion,” he said. “So, I took the time off and the right protocol, what the doctor told me to do, so I could be healthy to this weekend rock and roll in Billings.”
Rock in roll in Billings — sort of like what he’s doing near home on Whitefish Mountain, where Triplett has bailed on skiing as he tries to master snowboarding. Why the switch?
“I don’t know. All my buddies did it, so I was just like, ‘I’ve got to do what they’re doing, as well,’ so I picked up snowboarding and actually love it,” he said.
And when Triplett is not boarding, he says he’s stretching three to four times a week with hot yoga.
“It’s so beneficial for bull riding,” Triplett said. “You’ve got to be flexible, you’ve got to have a good core and you’ve got to be able to breathe in tough moments, and we get put in them situations all the time. So, if your breathing is in control it helps with your strength and everything else that comes with bull riding, so it’s awesome.”
Like nearly every cowboy on tour, the bull riding cycle continues for Triplett as he chases the PBR pot of gold. Injury. Keep pushing. Injury. Keep pushing.
“Yeah, it’s just that we love the sport so much and, I guess the mentality for me now is, I’ve been at it quite a while,” he said. “I just want to get a world championship under my belt. That’s been my goal since I was an itty, bitty kid and that’s just what keeps me going. That’s what keeps my motor running and that’s what, hopefully, I’ll achieve before I retire.”
Friday’s opening performance starts at 7:45 p.m. in Billings, which is the longest continuous stop on the PBR Tour at 24 straight years.