It feels as though we have been waiting for an age, but Round 1 of the 2018 PBR World Finals is finally here!
PBR World Finals Round 1 Preview
The opening round here at the 2018 PBR World Finals is also Round 1 of the ABBI Classic Finals, which means we will see a lot of younger bulls Wednesday night.
Forty of the best three and four-year-olds will buck tonight, and the best will come back Saturday to determine the Classic Champion.
The frontrunners in this group are Fearless (D&H Bucking Bulls) and Big Black (K-C Bucking Bulls). These two bulls have been the class of this age group all year. Big Black is also in the World Champion bull race as well.
You can tune into RidePass from 12:30 pm AEST on Thursday to watch all the action from T-Mobile or you can head to my Live Updates page where I will once again be posting ride scores, pictures and videos.
Nathan Burtenshaw v Good Night Robicheaux (6M Ranch / Riley Samford)
Burtenshaw will take on Good Night Robicheaux to kick off his debut PBR World Finals campaign. This well-bred bull sits 13th in the Classic standings and is undefeated in his 9 out in PBR competition.
Lachlan Richardson was actually the last PBR bull rider to attempt the bull and made it to the 4-second mark at Springfield, Missouri in September. The bull had a powerful out that night and was marked 43.25 points. He was around to the left on that occasion. The Premier Series out in August at Tulsa he faked left and dispatched Sean Willingham in quick time before settling into a spin.
We have seen Good Night Robicheaux covered once in Classic competition for 84.50 at a Bordertown event back in September. He put in a big fake to the left that night before settling into a nice tempo’s right-handed spin with a good kick.
Burtenshaw needs to be ready for the counter move but I think these two can pair up well.
Lachlan Richardson v Viper (Cord McCoy / Big Sky Bulls)
This bull was the high marked bull at the Velocity Finals last weekend. He bucked off Lucas Divino in under 2.5 seconds to gain a wildcard spot in the ABBI Classic Finals.
Information on Viper has been hard to come by.
His out at the SouthPoint was his best by far, marked 89.40 points buy the ABBI judges after exploding from the chute with two huge jumps forward and a sharp turn back to the left. Another out I found had the bull taking the same big jumps out of the chute. It appears as though he was starting to turn back to the right, but the rider was already bucked off and the bull was only marked 85.75 points.
This is one of the less-experienced bulls who has not faced the calibre of rider that they will face tonight. Many bulls are an unknown after 2-3 seconds so we will wait and see how this one plays out.
I think if Richardson can make it past the initial turn back, he should be able to open up and give himself a shot at making the whistle.
The ABBI Finals got underway yesterday with Round 1 of the ABBI Futurity. Ridin Solo (Sara & Cord McCoy / Steve Best) came out on top with 89.40 points. He is closely followed by Coal Train (D&H Cattle / McGuire) and Payday (Gary Long / The Jaynes Gang) who were both marked 89.20 points.
Round 2 will be run on Saturday morning AEST.
Ridin Solo’s 89.40 point score was also good enough to take out the ABBI Cowgirls Futurity for Sara & Cord McCoy and Steve Best.
The ABBI Finals Elite Yearling Sale was also held this afternoon with sales totalling $289,600. The highest selling lot of the afternoon was White Eyes (Shaw Cattle/Bob Whisnant) which sold for $39,000 and was purchased by Timo Torres and Kevin Wallace.
The ABBI Finals continue with Section 1 of the ABBI Yearling competition commencing at about 2 am AEST Thursday. There are over 160 yearlings in this class this year so it will conclude early Friday morning after Section 2.
There is also an ABBI/PBR Judges Seminar, plus, all of the regular PBR Finals Week events such as Flint Rasmussen’s Outside The Barrel and Rider Meet and Greets kicking off so it will be a busy day.
Check back early tomorrow morning for a review of Round 1 of the PBR World Finals plus a preview of the Round 2 matchups for the Aussies. Round 2 features one of the rankest pens of bulls we will see all year.