Tomorrow night at the 2019 Melbourne Invitational we will see a nice mix of youth and experience go head to head on both sides of the draw.
We have most of the regular heavy hitters of the PBR Australian Monster Energy Tour lining up, and there are also some riders and bulls who are making their debut or have limited experience at this level.
The strong international contingent will contest their final event before they return to the USA next week, so they will all be hoping to gain some extra points and cash.
Here is my 2019 Melbourne Invitational Event Preview.
Tamworth’s Ethan Watts will get us underway as we kick off a run of Throsby & Russell branded bulls in a rematch with Southern Man (5-1, PBRA). The pair met up at Yass earlier this year with the bull taking the win away from Watts’ hand in 4.22 seconds.
Making his debut this weekend will be Tamworth cowboy Matt Hollis who’s first task will be Silver Lining (7-3, PBRA) with Will Purcell following against veteran bucker On Point (22-12, PBRA).
Lachlan Slade and oOh! Kit Carson (12-1) will go at it once again, and the Tamworth cowboy will be looking for revenge after the bull got the better of him at Ballarat in March with a 4.21 second, 42.5 point buck off.
Rounding out the run of TnR bulls is Outback Cat (0-0, PBRA), who makes his debut against Jake Curr and Other Brother (1-0, PBRA), who will take on Rohan Markham, who we welcome back to the PBR after he spent a year away from the premier level.
The reigning PBR Australian National Champion Aaron Kleier will go head to head with Little Moody (2-0, PBRA) from Morgys Cattle Company with Nathan Burtenshaw next to go against penmate Big or Bust (2-0, PBRA).
Nebo’s Mitchel Paton faces Super Hero (1-0, PBRA) who will be the third and final from the Morgys string of bulls competing in Melbourne.
Jay Borghero and Cameron McLennan will close out the opening section against the Woodall Rodeo Company pair of Cookies Kaos (0-0, PBRA) and Aussie Dollar (1-0, PBRA).
World Champion Kaique Pacheco appears to have a favourable draw to start his night after drawing Hazmat (6-2, PBRA) who has averaged a bull score of 42.25 points in his last four trips for Maynes Bucking Bulls.
Amigo (2-2, PBRA) continues the run of Maynes bulls, drawing Cody Rodeo Tyler with penmate Walking Wounded (4-1, PBRA) matched up with Eduardo Aparecido for the following out.
Alpha young-gun Jackson Gray begins another run of TnR Bucking Bulls when he makes his PBR debut against Hangover (1-3, PBRA). Budd Williamson will be looking to snap his buck-off streak when he climbs aboard Rev It Up (3-1, PBRA) but he will need to do it away from his hand.
Kiwi bull rider JC Davis will attempt to become the first to cover Told Ya So (2-0, PBRA) with Bailey Woodard next to ride against Cliffhanger (0-1, PBRA) who was impressive in his PBR debut last weekend.
We close out the first round with a run of bulls from Woodall Rodeo Company beginning with Hit Man (4-4, PBRA) facing Lachlan Richardson, and that will be followed by the 2019 Tamworth Iron cowboy Brady Sims against Dusty (1-0, PBRA).
Jack Keats will be hoping to give Cloncurry back-to-back Melbourne victories as he begins his night against Chain Reaction (8-6, PBRA) with Rubens Barbosa last to ride aboard Street Kid (0-1, PBRA).
Brazillian Kaique Pacheco gets the second long round underway against Maynes Bucking Bulls’ Little Hillbilly (0-1, PBRA) with Mount Isa cowboy Jake Curr drawing California Gold (3-0, PBRA) from the same pen.
A trio of George Hempenstall buckers follows with Bailey Woodard climbing aboard Hateful Eight (2-0).
Missouri’s Brady Sims will go up against the veteran bull with all the tricks Eight Gauge (17-3, PBRA) and he will be followed from the right chutes by Aaron Kleier who takes on Ferdinand (5-0, PBRA) for the second time. Last season at this event, Ferdinand defeated Kleier in 2.69 seconds despite posting just a 39-point bull score.
Budd Williamson and Nathan Burtenshaw have drawn the TnR Bucking Bulls pairing of Posting Bail (6-2, PBRA) and Train Wreck (13-3, PBRA) respectively. In 2018 inside this arena, Burtenshaw and Train Wreck combined for 84-points in this very round.
A long run of stock from Woodall Rodeo Company begins with Brazilian veteran Rubens Barbosa facing Pet (1-0, PBRA). We will then see his countryman Eduardo Aparecido try to extend the cowboy’s advantage over YTB (2-4, PBRA).
Matt Hollis has drawn Back Draft (1-0, PBRA) in his second matchup of the night with Ethan Watts leading us into intermission aboard Blindspot (1-0, PBRA) who posted an impressive 42.75 points in his debut out at Adelaide a few weeks ago.
The final section of Round 2 gets underway with Cody Rodeo Tyler and Fire Cracker (2-0, PBRA) doing battle before Lachlan Richardson climbs aboard Gambler (0-1, PBRA) to finish off this run of Woodall bulls.
Three bulls from Kasper Bucking Bulls follow. Wrangler’s Volatile (9-4, PBRA) will be first out in what looks to be an excellent matchup for Rohan Markham. They will be followed by Cameron McLennan and Twisted X Hidden Agenda (3-0, PBRA), who has averaged a bull score of 43.17 points in his short PBR career.
The riders have a beautiful record against SweetPro’s Mystery (3-4, PBRA) and JC Davis will be the cowboy tasked with extending that record.
The unridden Woodall pair of Daredevil (2-0, PBRA) and Long Neck (2-0, PBRA) have drawn Jack Keats and Will Purcell. Purcell will carry the hopes of the Victorian crowd as the only home state rider in the field.
A run of TnR Bucking Bulls will finish off the round, beginning with Broken Halo (12-3, PBRA) and Jay Borghero facing off for the third time in PBR competition. Their first meeting was at Ballarat earlier this year with the bull winning in 2.15 seconds, and the second matchup was at the 2019 PBR Origin where the Broken Halo once again defeated Borghero, but this time it was in 7.44 seconds with the bull marked 42.5 points.
Jackson Gray continues his debut campaign against a strong opponent in Crackalackin (7-1) with Mitch Paton facing an equally difficult task in Aces & Eights (8-1, PBRA) who expected to turn back away from the hand of the rider with his wild action.
Another rematch brings the round to an end, with Lachlan Slade and oOh Call Me Joe (23-9, PBRA) drawing each other for the third time. The bull has both victories, winning in 3.17 seconds thanks to a 45-point out at Kempsey back in 2017, and the second came earlier this year at Origin where the buck off was recorded at 5.75 seconds with 43.5 points awarded.
Championship Round Bull Pen
Maximum Rat (12-8, PBRA) from George Hempenstall awaits the eighth-ranked rider following the two long-rounds. This bull has been ridden in his last three trips, marked as high as 86-points. Five of the eight qualified rides have resulted in round wins.
Woodall’s Class Act (3-2, PBRA) was ridden twice in 2019, and he comes to Melbourne off the back of his career-high 42.75-point bull score which he recorded in Adelaide earlier this month.
Penmate Blind Fury (11-1, PBRA) has been tough to get by in the past. He has bucked off ten straight riders despite producing a consistent trip and bull scores averaging 41.61 points.
George Hempenstall’s Stealth (13-4) will be next to buck and will be looking to extend his buck off streak of seven riders. He has posted an average bull score of 42.93 points during this period.
SweetPro’s Chemical Weapon (14-9, PBRA) from Kasper Bucking Bulls looks a friendly draw for the rider who sits fourth on the leaderboard. This bull is regularly around to the right but is no shoo-in, as he can produce a trick or two when the riders least expect it.
Wild Paint (11-3, PBRA) can get quite rank as he turns back to the left and has averaged a bull score of 43.08 points in his last three trips. We last saw the TnR Bucking Bull ridden in June and since then, he has bucked off five straight cowboys.
Eric Yates’ Chocolate Thunder (23-3, PBRA) has put thirteen straight riders in the dirt with his unpredictability bringing most riders unstuck. He possesses plenty of tricks from the Hempenstall truck, but he will turn to the left.
The top-ranked rider will go up against oOh! Mr Buckmore (11-3, PBRA) from TnR Bucking Bulls who we have seen buck off his last eight opponents while averaging 42.88 points. This bull prefers to enter a counter-clockwise spin with plenty of drop.
I will be providing live updates in the Ride the Rage Score Center from late on Saturday afternoon if you can’t tune into RidePass and don’t forget to check back on Monday for my full event wrap-up.