Day 4 was a rest day here at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas as we transition from the Velocity Tour Finals to the ABBI Finals and the PBR World Finals.
Yesterday, the PBR released the list of qualifiers for the PBR World Finals and Australia will have two bull riders to cheer on at the 2018 PBR World Finals inside T-Mobile Arena starting Wednesday.
Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW) has put together a strong rookie season to qualify for the PBR World Finals in 26th place on the PBR World Standings leaderboard.
Burtenshaw was able to compete inside T-Mobile Arena as an alternate in Round 5 of the 2017 PBR World Finals but this will be his debut as a top-35 qualifier.
The 24-year-old has recorded two event wins and eleven top-15 finishes from 38 events.
Burtenshaw’s event wins came at the Velocity Tour event in Hampton, Virginia and at the Mount Isa Touring Pro event here in Australia. His best finish on the PBR’s premier tour came at Glendale, Arizona where he finished third after going a perfect 3-for-3 and covered Nailed in the Championship Round for a season-high 89-points.
He also put together a seventh-place finish at the Music City Knockout in Nashville, Tennessee after progressing through to Round 4 of competition but was ruled out of the event with a concussion after taking several shots in the earlier rounds.
Burtenshaw sits fourth in the PBR Rookie of the Year race, 226 points behind the current leader Keyshawn Whitehorse.
He has battled through knee, collarbone and concussion issues for much of the 2018 season but has shown the world he well and truly belongs at this level of competition.
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) has qualified for his seventh straight PBR World Finals. The 25-year-old finished the regular season in 29th place in the PBR World Standings with three event wins and 32 top-15 finishes to his name from 67 events.
After a slow start to 2018, Richardson caught fire in during the ‘summer break’ where he picked up a cheque in 19 of the 26 events he attended. Richardson scored event wins at the PBR Monster Energy Cup event in Kelowna, BC and at the Touring Pro level in Calgary, AB and Santa Barbara, CA during this period.
His best result on the 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast series came at Austin, Texas in September where he finished the event in fourth place. Richarson also added top-15 finishes in Tulsa, Atlantic City and Milwaukee in the second half of the PBR season.
Richardson’s high marked ride so far this season came on the back of Willy Wonka, for 89.5 points on his way to winning Day 1 of the Ranchman’s PBR BullBustin’ in Calgary, Alberta.
Monday is another quiet day at PBR Finals Week with ABBI Stock Contractor meetings scheduled plus rider check-in for the PBR World Finals qualifiers.
There are suggestions that there will be major changes to PBR Finals week with the ABBI Finals and the Velocity Tour Finals moving away and becoming separate events. So if anything is confirmed I will pass that information along.
I also hope to catch up with Burtenshaw and Richardson tomorrow to preview their Round 1 matchups so stay tuned.