The PBR 25th: Unleash The Beast tour heads to Nashville, Tennessee’s Bridgestone Arena this weekend for the final PBR Major of 2018, the Music City Knockout.
It is crucial for riders aspiring to become the 2018 PBR World Champion to progress through their brackets to obtain the big points on offer to riders who make it through to the ‘Elite Eight’.
Both Nathan Burtenshaw (World Number 25) and Lachlan Richardson (World Number 33) will be striving to record a good result in a bid to cement their spots in the Top 35 of the PBR World Standings and punch their tickets to Las Vegas.
Previous winners of the Music City Knockout include Kaique Pacheco (2015) and Fabiano Vieira (2017) with Cooper Davis using this event as a springboard on his way to taking the World Championship buckle in 2016.
The bracket style competition features a different format to regular PBR Events.
Riders are not only matched up against the bulls but also against other riders. The cowboy with the highest score or ride time in each matchup proceeds through to the next round.
There is also a forth ‘second chance bracket’ with the Top 8 highest individual ride scores or buckoff times from the riders eliminated through the first four rounds of competition gaining a spot to compete for the final place in the ‘Final Four’.
Here is the full Music City Knockout Bracket.
There are two Australian Riders in the Draw with Nathan Burtenshaw and Lachlan Richardson both facing tough Round 1 matchup’s in Bracket C.
Coonamble’s Nathan Burtenshaw will need to get by Mr Valentine (Rickey West Bucking Bulls) if he is to progress past Canadian young gun Lonnie West in Round 1. The bull has not been ridden since January at the Velocity Tour event in Lexington, KY where Kade Alberty scored 85.50 points.
If Burtenshaw can stay at the front end as the bull leaves chutes, he should be able to settle into a rhythm and get a score on the board. Should he progress to Round 2, the 24-year-old will face Kaique Pacheco and gets a shot at the rider-friendly Handsome Jeff from K-C Bucking Bulls.
After recording a third placing at the mid-week PBR Canada Touring Pro event, Lachlan Richardson faces off against Brennon Eldred in Round 1.
The 25-year-old has drawn Curly Drifter from Mike Miller and Torres Brothers Bucking Bulls. This bull has been ridden twice from five outs in PBR competition with Silvano Alves scoring 87.25 points at Uniondale, NY in 2017.
The bull turned sharply to the right after a big jump out of the chutes and looks to have nice timing after the initial big move. The way Richardson is riding, he has a good chance against this bull.
If he is successful in progressing, the Gresford cowboy will set up a Round 2 matchup with reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood and the un-ridden Zorro from Jane Clark and Gene Owen.
Historically, the Brazillian riders have recorded good results in man-on-man format events and this year may be no different with the World Standings leaderboard stacked with 8 Brazilians in the Top 11.
Outside of the Australian riders, I think Jose Vitor Leme and Dener Barbosa have a great chance to emerge from their brackets with a good run of bulls in front of them. Riders such as Matt Triplet and Cooper Davis will prove to be their strongest competition.
I will be providing updates on the Aussies across the weekend on Social Media as well as a wrap up of the event following its conclusion.
The event will be on Ridepass but probably just in a ‘Listen Live’ capacity. Tune in if you can from 11am Saturday and 10am on Sunday to catch all the action.