2019 Mackay Invitational Preview

The Aussie PBR Event PreviewThe Aussie PBR Event Preview

The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour returns to the sugar capital of Australia on Saturday at 7 pm with BB Print Stadium hosting the 2019 Mackay Invitational.

Visit the PBR Australia Website for all the finer details and ticket information.

The annual stop in Mackay will serve as the fifth last regular-season event of the 2019 PBR Australia season. 

Event History

This event has historically been one for the veteran riders with big scores posted in the past two editions.

Last season it was Ryan Storey who clinched the win in his home town with a monster 90.5 point ride aboard POA Fully Locked & Loaded in the Championship Round.

In 2017 Fraser Babbington also covered POA Fully Locked & Loaded for the win, scoring 89.5 points in the final round. 

Guy Ford took out the event in 2016 while Cody Heffernan used the 2015 event win to kick-off his 2016 PBR Australia Championship winning season.

Event Format and Points Available

Twenty-three of Australia’s best riders are set to battle it out over two full rounds of competition.

There is a maximum of 600 Australian National Standings points available this weekend. There will be 100 points awarded to each of the round winners with an extra 400 points are up for grabs for the aggregate champion.

170 World Points are also on the line for those with PBR World Finals aspirations.

The Field

2018 PBR Australian National Champion Aaron Kleier remains the leader in the race for the 2019 Gold Buckle. He heads to Mackay following a seventh-place finish in Grafton earlier this month. The Clermont bull rider went 1-for-2 on the night to take his points total to 3573.33, but four of his rivals were able to make up ground.

Brady Fielder continues to close the gap between himself and Kleier with the margin now sitting at 785.83 points. The 19-year-old added another strong result in Grafton to back up his consecutive event wins at Newcastle and Cunnamulla in August.

We welcome back Cody Heffernan to the title race after he missed the better part of four months after suffering a severe knee injury in Rockhampton back in May. The 2016 PBR Australian Champion sits third despite the lengthy absence with 1335.83 points to make up on Kleier. 

Seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Lachlan Richardson consolidated his fourth position in the rankings with a Top-5 night in Grafton. The Gresford cowboy remains in the hunt for the 2019 title with the deficit to Kleier sitting at 1558.33 points.

Cliff Richardson moved up into fifth place in the standings thanks to his second win of the season at the previous tour stop in Grafton. The 28-year-old closed the gap considerably to 1733.33 points thanks to his 520 point haul.

Mundubbera cowboy Lane Mellers made his PBR Unleash The Beast Tour debut last weekend in Fairfax, Virginia with a 1-for-2, 17th place finish. The 2018 Rookie of the Year is yet to miss a PBR Australia event on the 2019 and sits 2208.33 points adrift in seventh place.

The 2015 PBR Australian National Champion Fraser Babbington sits on the bubble in 18th place and still requires a solid result to guarantee his place in Townville.

Young-guns Josh Cavanagh and Donovan Rutherfurd are currently ranked just outside the Top-20 and will be hoping to secure themselves a maiden Grand Finals qualification with a strong result.

The 2019 PBR World Finals are closing in fast, and No. 36 ranked Brady Fielder will be hoping to move forward off the bubble. No. 40 Cliff Richardson and No. 42 Cody Heffernan both have a chance to move into a qualification position with a win in Mackay. Aaron Kleier remains ranked in 21st place but has been ruled ineligible.

The Bull Pen

The back pens will be stacked with some of the rankest bucking stock that you will find in Central and Northern Queensland on Saturday night.

Dittmann Bucking Bulls will have all of their Bucking Bull of the Year contenders engaged for their home event. The Bloomsbury team will start the favourites to take home the bull team buckle. 

Wallace Bucking Bulls haul a stong team north from Biloela as do Kleier Bucking Bulls who make their way up from Clermont. Both sides have an excellent chance to contend for the team competition. 

Central Queensland contractors Diamond J Rodeo Co and Dunne Bulls will add a nice mix of youth and experience into the pen. 

We will also see a rank trio of buckers from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls and MJ Bucking Bulls.

Matchups

Check back on Friday morning for a full break down the daysheet for the 2019 Mackay Invitational.

Coverage

I will be providing live updates from the event in the Ride the Rage Score Center from 5 pm AEST on Saturday or check back on Monday morning for my full wrap-up.