In front of a packed house at the Brisbane Entertainment Center, Cliff Richardson confirmed his status as the hottest bull rider in the country with a 3-for-3 performance to take out the 2018 Last Cowboy Standing on the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour.
The Gresford, NSW cowboy capped off his perfect Saturday night with an electrifying 88.0 point bull ride on Robert Bunn’s Acid Rain in the Championship Round to outlast 28 of the world’s best bull riders.
The Last Cowboy Standing
Richardson opened his account in Round 1 with a 86.25 point qualified ride on Ryans Gangster (BK Bucking Bulls) to eliminate Jared Borghero and progress to the second round of the bracket style knock-out competition where he was to face current PBR Australia Standings leader Aaron Kleier in a matchup that was bound to 2018 PBR Australia Championship ramifications. Richardson faced Shots from Dittmann Bucking Bulls in Round 2 and lit up the crowd with an 85.75 point ride to eliminate Kleier and gain a berth in the Championship Round. The 27-year-old finished with an aggregate of 260 points to take home the Last Cowboy Standing bracket and aggregate titles.
Richardson performed a clean sweep and took home the maximum 700 points available to move within 720.82 points of Kleier on the Australian National Standings Leaderboard. Richardson also earned 120 world points and moves into the 37th position on the PBR World Standings.
Canadian Brock Radford did things that hard way to finish runner-up on the Last Cowboy Standing aggregate leaderboard with his own 3-for-3 performance. In Round 1, the 23-year-old put up 82.75 points on Cheery Ripe (Dan Klabe) but looked to be eliminated after Lane Mellers recorded an 83-point qualified ride. But it was Radford’s luck night with the format taking the two highest losing scores into the second chance section of the Round 2 draw. Radford, who is currently the number 1 bull rider on the PBR Canada Standings remained perfect recording an 84.5 point ride on Sweet Pro’s Tough Task (Dunne Bucking Bulls) in Round 2 to eliminate fellow ‘lucky loser’ Justin Paton and progress into the final round of competition. Radford took his event total to 253.25 with an outstanding 86.0 point ride on Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Top Country Blossom in the Championship Round.
Nathan Burtenshaw continued his good form with a solid third place finish, going 2-for-3 with his only blemish coming in the Championship Round. The Coonamble, NSW cowboy eliminated Justin Paton and Fraser Babbington on his way to the Championship Round where he ultimately bucked off Iron Jacket (Wallace Bucking Bulls) to remain on 166.75 points on the Last Cowboy Standing aggregate leaderboard.
19-year-old Mundubberra, QLD cowboy Lane Mellars rounded out the Top 4 with his own 2-for-3 performance covering Outlaw (Dan Klabe) in Round 1 and Game On (BK Bucking Bulls) in the Last Cowboy Standing Championship Round for an aggregate total of 164.5 points.
Following his out in the Championship Round, Game On was retired by BK Bucking Bulls and he will be missed by all PBR fans in Australia. Game On had 12 outs at PBR Australia events bucking off 91.67% of the cowboys he faced with an average bull score of 43.31 points.
Last Cowboy Standing once again provided joint winners of the high marked bull award with SweetPro’s Palooka from Dittmann Bucking Bulls and Top Country Take the Gamble from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls both receiving 43.5 points from the judges in the Championship Round. SweetPro’s Palooka dispatched PBR veteran Budd Williamson in 3.96 seconds while Top Country Take the Gamble earned his score in a 1.90-second demolition job of Tully, QLD bull rider Michael Smith.
PBR Australia now switches to the Touring Pro Division with the Mt Isa Show PBR taking place next weekend. The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Cup Series will return in August with the Newcastle Invitational. You can see the Event Schedule HERE.