If Saturday nights action inside BB Print Stadium matches what we see on paper for the 2019 Mackay Invitational, then we are in for a top night of bull riding.
Here is the breakdown:
Victorian bull rider Will Purcell will look to get the cowboys off to a good start against Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Seek and Destroy (7-2, PBRA) with Ethan Watts next out in a rematch with Scene of the Crash (10-2, PBRA). The bull won their previous battle in 2.25 seconds at the Grand Finals last season.
Rankings leader Aaron Kleier will be next out in a rematch against another Wallace bull named Cowboy Cash (0-3, PBRA). The defending Australian Champion was 81.5 points on this bull in Sydney earlier this year.
Sam Spencer and Dittmann Bucking Bulls Johnny Ringo (0-0, PBRA) will go head-to-head as they both make their Monster Energy Tour debut.
Panic Stations (5-1, PBRA) kicks off a run of Diamond J Rodeo buckers against Eidsvold’s Sam Woodard with pen mate Hash Tag (1-0, PBRA) next to go against Justin Robards.
We have not seen Campbells Fully Loaded (5-0, PBRA) on tour for over three years but he returns for a matchup with Fraser Babbington here. This bout will be the second time they have met with the first being at Kempsey in 2016 where the bull only needed 3.15 seconds to win their battle.
Lane Mellers will be full of confidence after making his Unleash The Beast Tour debut last weekend. The Mundubbera bull rider will face a debut bull from Diamond J Rodeo called Summer Time Blues (0-0, PBRA) while Troy Cross will be hoping to snap his buck off streak against Disturbed (6-1, PBRA).
Lachlan Richardson and Kleier Bucking Bulls Indian Outlaw (4-3, PBRA) should do battle into the hand of the Gresford cowboy with Brady Fielder next out against Top Deck (0-0, PBRA), who makes his PBR debut in Mackay.
The run of Kleier Bucking Bulls continues with Scooby Doo (0-0, PBRA) also making his debut against Robert Hicks while Bailey Woodard faces Code Blue (1-0, PBRA) in the next out.
Mount Isa’s Donovan Rutherfurd will take on a bull that will make his debut for Dittmann Bucking Bulls. That bull is Rambo (1-0, PBRA) and he posted a 43-point bull score in his debut out at Yass last season.
Dittmann’s Silent Rage (14-7, PBRA) and Jay Borghero will do battle for the third time in PBR competition with the series even at 1-all. The bull won in 2.21 seconds at Iron Cowboy in 2017 while Borghero was 84.25 points for a Round Win at the Grand Finals last year.
Rookie Josh Cavanagh looks to have drawn well and will climb aboard High Class Hooker (18-7, PBRA) with Veteran Budd Williamson next to ride against Cattle King King’s Ransom (5-2, PBRA). Cameron McLennan ends the run of Dittmann bulls against Shots (8-8, PBRA).
Dunne Bulls bring us High Risk (4-1, PBRA) to go up against Moura’s Lawson Nobbs before pen mate Flaunt It (1-0, PBRA) faces Cody Heffernan, who will make his long-awaited return from injury. Joshua Jones has ridden three of his last six bulls and will face Cree (1-0, PBRA).
In his debut at Cunnamulla last month, Brody Woodard faced 25 To Life (4-1, PBRA). The young-gun put up an 88-point score and the pair will do battle for a second time here at Mackay.
Cliff Richardson took out the previous tour event in Grafton but has drawn the unridden Personal Space (5-0, PBRA) to finish off the string of Dunne Bulls and the opening round.
Sam Woodard kicks off the final round against Diamond J’s seldom ridden Devils Diamond (10-1, PBRA) with Lawson Nobbs next out against a debut bull named Get Ya Freak On (0-0, PBRA). Pen mate Disco Duck (8-4, PBRA) looks a favourable draw for Budd Williamson in the next matchup.
We kick off another run of Dunne Bulls with Sam Spencer taking on Rockslide (9-3, PBRA) and Will Purcell against Guilty Pleasure (4-2, PBRA).
Grafton’s Robert Hicks will be next to go aboard Drag Iron (3-1, PBRA) while Tamworth’s Ethan Watts faces Tough Task (12-4, PBRA) for the second time in PBR competition. The pair previously met in Gladstone way back in 2016 where the bull was marked 43-points in the 2.41-second ride.
We move back into a run of buckers from Wallace Bucking Bulls with Jay Borghero climbing aboard Specsaver (1-2, PBRA).
Lachlan Richardson has drawn a rider favourite in Iron Jacket (7-8, PBRA) while Donovan Rutherfurd will be next out and looks to have his hands full against Freckles Brown (13-1, PBRA).
Cameron McLennan will be hoping to get his home crowd on their feet when he takes on Mighty Whitey (3-2, PBRA).
Kleier Bucking Bulls brings us two of the toughest draws in the Round. King Kong (12-1, PBRA) will be the opponent for Brody Woodard and Bailey Woodard will go up against Barn Yard (12-2, PBRA). The latter matchup is a rematch from the 2018 Grand Finals where the Dingo cowboy was scored 86.75 points.
Kingaroy’s Joshua Jones will be next to ride when he takes on Western Sky (1-1, PBRA).
Clermont’s Aaron Kleier will take on the last bull from his father’s pen when he climbs aboard Watch This (1-1, PBRA) for the first time in PBR competition.
In an all MJ Bucking Bulls matchup, Lane Mellers gets another chance to become the first to conquer Slam n Jam (17-0, PBRA). The bull holds a 1-nil record thanks to a 2.41-second buck off at Julia Creek where he was awarded 44-points.
Brandenburg Bucking Bulls and MJ Bucking Bulls also bring The D.O.C (4-1, PBRA) to Mackay where he will go up against Josh Cavanagh before Berzerk (10-0, PBRA) attempts to keep his perfect record when Cody Heffernan climbs aboard. Berzerk and Heffernan met previously for 4.22 seconds at Last Cowboy Standing in 2018.
Dittmann Bucking Bulls will finish off the event with a solid run of outstanding veteran bucking bulls.
Fraser Babbington faces Cattle King Ray Ban (16-6, PBRA) with Justin Robards next to go aboard Cattle King Ted (15-1, PBRA).
In what looks to be the matchup of the night, Brady Fielder gets his first chance to take on POA Fully Locked & Loaded (30-5, PBRA). The rookie has ridden nine of his last eleven bulls while the bull has bucked off his previous six riders and averaged 44.30-points in his last five outs.
The most experienced bull in the pen is POA Palooka (39-3, PBRA) who has bucked off his last eight cowboys and also averaged 44.3-points in his last five outs. Troy Cross is the rider tasked to snap the streak.
In the final out of the night, Cliff Richardson, who has ridden three of his last four bulls, faces POA Lock n Load (25-4, PBRA) who has bucked off his last four riders.
It looks another tough event to find a winner, but I think the cream will rise to the top.
Aaron Kleier and Lachlan Richardson will battle it out this weekend. Both riders have drawn very well and should finish on a very similar score.
Kleier has covered Cowboy Cash previously for 81.5, but that is the lowest of the three scores that the bull has given up so he should be higher here. The 21-year-old would also have experience with Watch This.
Indian Outlaw has given up three scores in his career, and they were all to right-handed riders, so that bodes well for Richardson. Iron Jacket has been ridden over 50% of the time and will turn back into the 26-year-old’s hand.
I think if Brady Fielder can cover POA Fully Locked & Loaded in the final section, he could gain a points advantage over Kleier and Richardson provided he already has a score on the board from Round 1.
Fraser Babbington has also drawn two suitable bulls and looks well in contention.
I will be providing live updates in the Ride the Rage Score Center from behind the chutes on Saturday night so follow along in there, or check back on Monday for my wrap-up.