Less than four years after graduating from Dolores High School, Tanner Lockhart has established himself as one of the best young saddle bronc riders in the country.
The most recent indication of Lockhart’s up-and-coming status came less than one month ago when the Lewis, Colorado, native was named the Mountain State Circuit’s Rookie of the Year. The award followed a highly successful season that saw Lockhart finish sixth overall in the PRCA Pro Rodeo rookie standings with earnings of $12,577.65. The one-time Dolores Bear also earned the distinction of being the highest ranked Colorado cowboy in the PRCA Pro Rodeo rookie standings.
While attending Dolores High School and competing as a member of the Ute Mountain High School Rodeo Team, Lockhart won the Colorado High School Rodeo Association state championship in the Saddle Bronc event in 2013.
The wiry cowboy known for his toughness and grit also finished ninth at the National High School Finals rodeo in 2013 before winning the World Champion Saddle Bronc title at the Little Britches National Finals Rodeo later that year.
“It felt pretty good to get that win,” said Lockhart at the time. “Everything came down to the last horse. I drew a great horse for the short go, and everything worked out. Being world champion is going to take a while to sink in.”
Thanks to his spate of accomplishments during high school, Lockhart earned a scholarship to Western Texas College, where he competed for the school’s rodeo team and qualified for the College National Finals twice and earned a degree in petroleum engineering.
Hoping to continue to climb the national rankings and establish himself as a top professional, Lockhart will kick off the New Year at the Colorado vs. The World Rodeo at the Denver Coliseum on Jan. 6, competing for the Colorado team.
Lockhart will then spend the rest of the year competing in rodeos throughout the West, including the Ute Mountain Roundup in Cortez, June 7-9.
“It’s pretty neat to see Tanner and other local kids come back and compete in their hometown rodeo,” Tanner’s mother, Destri Lockhart, said during an interview last year. “I was the sponsor of the high school rodeo team for years, and to watch kids grow up and improve is always special.”