The PBR Australia Touring Pro Division will head back to where it all began for the New Year’s Eve 2019 PBR Showdown at the Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton this Tuesday, 31 December.
The young guns of bull riding in Australia will be joined by some returning favourites plus several debut riders to contest the third event of the 2020 PBR Australia season.
The arena doors will open at 5:00 pm with bulls bucking from 7:30 pm
6:00 pm.The event will be followed by entertainment at the venue until the early hours to bring in the New Year.
ABBI Australia will also get their 2020 season underway inside the Great Western on Tuesday with Futurity action kicking off earlier in the day at 9:00 am.
Gresford’s Lachlan Richardson emerged victorious inside the Great Western in 2016, with Clermont’s Aaron Kleier and Brazilian Lucas Divino both collecting buckles at events in 2017.
In 2018, it was local bull rider Jason Mara who took home the top prize and earlier this year, Moura’s Lawson Nobbs finished atop the 2019 leaderboard to perform a clean sweep of all available points on his return from competing overseas.
Event Format and Points Available
Twenty-seven riders will contest the final event of 2019 with 350 points towards the National Standings available across the two rounds and the aggregate competition.
The Top-14 on the event leaderboard following the completion of Round 1 will progress onto the Championship Round.
2019 PBR Australian National Champion Aaron Kleier headlines the field alongside fellow Clermont native and 2019 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year, Brady Fielder.
Kleier started his 2020 campaign with back-to-back Top-5 finishes to find himself ranked fourth in the early World Standings. He was placed fourth at the Tamworth Iron Cowboy then came away with a 3-for-3 runner up finish in Melbourne.
Fielder took some time off following his busy November where he competed at the PBR World Finals and the PBR Australia Grand Finals. He has made just a single appearance so far in the 2020 season, progressing to the Championship Round in Tamworth but ultimately coming away empty-handed.
Both Lane Mellers and Lawson Nobbs will kick off their 2020 seasons in Rockhampton.
Mellers finished last season ranked inside the Top-10 on the Australian National Standings. The Mundubbera talent not only competing at the Australian Grand Finals in 2019 but also the PBR’s Velocity Tour Finals and the PBR Canada National Finals.
Nobbs enters the new season coming off a career year in 2019. He competed inside T-Mobile Arena at the PBR World Finals and finished twelfth in the Australian Standings despite competing at just seven events.
We welcome back veteran riders Sonny Schafferius and Beau Willis, who will both make their first appearances on a PBR Daysheet since 2018.
Seven riders will make their PBR Australia debut in Rockhampton.
This event will be the final hit-out on Australian soil for a handful of these riders before they make their way across the Pacific to kick off 2020 in the USA.
Highlight Round 1 Matchups
Lane Mellers on Disco Duck (Diamond J Bucking Bulls)
After a brutal November competing on both sides of the Pacific, we should see a well-rested Mellers back to his best here. With a four and four record in PBR competition, Disco Duck hasn’t been as good to the right-handers as he has the lefties. The bull possesses excellent tempo, however, he will turn back away from the Mundubbera bull rider’s favoured direction. Mellers made a run of nice rides away from his hand late in the 2019 season and that makes this matchup one of most interesting battles we will see on the night.
Jake Curr on Choctop (JD Bucking Bulls)
Curr put together two lovely rides in the long rounds at the Melbourne Invitational earlier this month, and he looks to have drawn another favourable bull in the opening round here in Rockhampton. We have only seen Choctop buck twice in PBR competition, and he has split his results with Robert Hicks recording 80-points at Burnett Heads. In both of his trips, he turned back to the left, and that should give the Mount Isa talent the advantage.
Lachlan Slade on Jersey Joe (BK Bucking Bulls)
These two met up last month at the 2019 PBR Australia Grand Finals where Slade emerged with an 85-point score. Jersey Joe delivers a reasonably consistent trip and has a two and two record in PBR competition. In his previous trips, he has turned back to the right which will be into Slade’s hand. If the Tamworth cowboy can maintain position on his rope through the opening seconds of the ride, we should see him grit out another score.
Lawson Nobbs on Suga Boom Boom (BK Bucking Bulls)
Suga Boom Boom has had just the two outs in PBR competition and was marked 42-points on both occasions against right-handed riders. In both trips, he was strong, leaving the chute and wastes no time getting down to business to the left. Nobbs can handle bulls that turn back either way, but this bull’s direction choice should give him an advantage in his first appearance since the 2019 Grand Finals. The defending champion will be the first leftie to climb aboard, and If it all comes together, this matchup should go close to winning the round.
I will be backstage at the Great Western Hotel all day to bring you all the news, ride scores, pictures and videos from the 2019 Rockhampton Touring Pro and the ABBI Australia Rockhampton Futurity. Make sure you head to the Ride The Rage Score Centre to stay up to date!