The most unique event that we have on the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour is the 2019 Tamworth Iron Cowboy.
In this event, not only do the cowboys take on a bovine athlete, but they also take on each other. The rider with the highest ride score will progress onto Round 2 where they will once again go up against not only face their draw but another rider. The eight cowboys advancing from Round 2 will contest the Championship Round.
The riders will draw their Championship Round matchup from a hat. The highest score posted in the final round will be crowned the 2019 Tamworth Iron Cowboy.
Many of the top-seeds appear to have better matchups, but the bracket-style of competition always throws up some surprises with the best buck-off time progressing if both riders fail to post a score.
In case you missed my Event Preview for the 2019 Tamworth Iron Cowboy, here it is.
Round 1 Matchups
Rubens Barbosa on Midnight Hour (Maynes Bucking Bulls) vs Caiden Sandilands on Ranch Hand (Maynes Bucking Bulls)
After going 4-for-6 at the PBR World Finals a fortnight ago, it was surprising to see Barbosa buck off all four of his bulls at the Grand Finals. Midnight Hour looks an excellent chance to get everything back on track. Brady Fielder and Lachlan Richardson have covered the bull, and he should be around into Barbosa’s hand.
Sandilands’s draw Ranch Hand has also been covered twice but appears to be a little harder to get by. Last time we saw him in Queanbeyan, he turned back to the left, which will suit Rockhampton young-gun, but he will need to be on his game to get past the veteran Brazilian.
Kaique Pacheco on Twisted X (Maynes Bucking Bulls) vs Cameron McLennan on Shotgun (ST Bucking Bulls)
Twisted X has allowed four qualified rides in seven trips across the past two PBR seasons, and with Pacheco coming off a 4-for-5 weekend in his return from injury at the Grand Finals, we can only assume he will continue to gather momentum. The bull will be around to the right and into the 2018 World Champion’s hand.
Shotgun will also enter a right-handed spin, and that will be into McLennan’s hand. We have only seen one rider make the whistle against this bull in six outs and he is capable of posting some fairly handy bull scores. The Mackay cowboy posted a seventh-place finish at his home event last season, but his Brazilian opponent may be too strong here.
Brady Fielder on Pole Dancer (ST Bucking Bulls) vs Sam Woodall on SweetPro’s Chemical Weapon (Kasper Bucking Bulls)
Fielder posted two solid scores last weekend, but Pole Dancer has turned in a few reasonably different trips in his previous outs. We have seen him go right in Brisbane, and then he backed out in Newcastle and went left. If he gets out clean, I’d expect him to turn right, and that will be to Clermont bull rider’s advantage.
Chemical Weapon gives up a mid-80-point qualified ride every two or three trips, but they all seem to the top riders in the PBR. He prefers a right-handed spin with a lot of up and down without much forward movement which gives the Victorian a chance riding into his hand.
Ethan Watts on Chocolate Thunder (Eric Yates/George Hempenstall) vs Jay Borghero on High Class Hooker (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls)
Chocolate Thunder has bucked off his last twelve riders, dating back to the Sydney Global Cup. Out of the right-delivery he prefers to get down to business around to the left, but he has far from smooth and can have very little timing. Watts made it back for the short round last week at the Grand Finals, but the Tamworth cowboy will need to grit this one out if he is to make the whistle.
When High Class Hooker allows the rider a clean shot, we have seen the riders finish on top in three of his last five trips. He will be around the right and meet Borghero into his hand. The Beaudesert bull rider went 1-for-4 last weekend, and he looks a chance to make amends in this matchup.
Troy Wilkinson on Booger Man (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) vs Oscar Leake on Specsaver (Wallace Bucking Bulls)
Wilkinson made a very strong finish to the 2019 season with a third-place finish at the Grand Finals, and he gets a chance to carry that momentum over into the new season aboard Booger Man. The bull should turn back to the left initially, but he sometimes can reverse direction mid-ride. Left-handed riders have a good record on this bull, thanks to Kleier’s three scores, but I see no reason why the Upper Horton talent can’t get in on the fun.
Specsaver is a bull that likes to mix his trips, so Leake will have to stay busy early. This bull continues to get better each time we see him, and he posted a career-high bull score last time out at the Grand Finals. Leake got a couple of nice bulls ridden into this hand at the back end of last season, but he will need some luck here.
Lawson Nobbs on Seek and Destroy (Wallace Bucking Bulls) vs Nathan Burtenshaw on Double XL (Wallace Bucking Bulls)
Seek and Destroy has given up just one ride in the past 17 months, and that was to Cliff Richardson last weekend for 87-points. He likes to turn back sharply to the right immediately after the gate cracks, and that is what usually gets riders out of position. So, Nobbs will have to be on his game here and will need to get it done away from his hand.
Burtenshaw faces a bull that is making his PBR debut, Double XL. The Coonamble cowboy looked good early last weekend before encountering a few bulls that extended his Saturday in the chutes.
Brady Sims on Black Elastic (John Gill & Sons) vs Robert Hicks on SW (John Gill & Sons)
Both Sims and Hicks face debut bulls here.
Sims bucked off all his bull last weekend after making his World Finals debut the week prior, so he will be eager to rebound with a strong performance.
Hicks, on the other hand, has posted two Top-10 finishes in his last three events and he will be looking to carry that momentum through.
Will Purcell on Ramblin Ways (Dan Klabe/Farley) vs Justin Robards on Bud Buster (Kasper/JD Bucking Bulls)
We have not seen Ramblin Ways buck in PBR competition since this event last year, so it is hard to predict what we will see here. He has been covered just once in his five out PBR career. Purcell has failed to put a score on the board since going 3-for-3 to win in Wodonga.
Robards is in a similar boat, going 0-for-6 at his last two events and he will face Bud Buster who has been very hard to get by since making his debut and allowing just one qualified ride. He can turn back either way and possesses loads of roll in his action. The four bulls that Robards’ faced last weekend produced the highest aggregate bull score that any single rider faced across the long rounds, so this may be a tad easier.
Eduardo Aparecido on High Flying Akubra (John Gill & Sons) vs Brody Woodard on Claybo (John Gill & Sons)
This looks a nice matchup for Aparecido, who went 2-for-4 last weekend and narrowly missed the short-go at the Grand Finals. Kaique Pacheco rode High Flying Akubra for 83 points at the Global Cup, and we have regularly seen riders post scores since then. The bull probably prefers a counter-clockwise spin, but don’t be surprised to see him turn back to the right.
I have not seen Claybo buck, but he was out four times in the 2018 PBR Australia season, and he emerged unridden and posted some very handy bull scores. Woodard struggled to post consistent results in his debut season on tour, but as he gains more experience, we should see him continue to improve.
Cody Rodeo Tyler on Ol’ Son (Dunne Bulls) vs Bailey Woodard on Tribal (Dunne Bulls)
Another set of debut bulls await this pair of riders.
Tyler only got one bull ridden last weekend, but he was very close to getting another score or two on the board. He will be better for that run, and the American will be much more prepared with another week on Australian soil under his belt.
Woodard finished 2019 with a flurry, riding four of this last eight bulls to miss out on Grand Finals qualification narrowly. The Dingo bull rider will be hoping to kick the 2020 season off with a strong result.
Aaron Kleier on Rockslide (Dunne Bulls) vs Jake Curr on Im Cool (Dan Klabe)
Kleier will be eager to shake off his 1-for-4 performance from last weekend, and he gets an excellent chance here when he faces Rockslide for the third time. The pair have split their previous matchups with the bull winning in 2.98 seconds at Last Cowboy Standing in 2018, but Kleier got his revenge earlier this year at Mount Isa for 86.5 points. The bull prefers the left, and that will be into the Aussie Champion’s hand.
We have seen Im Cool just the once in PBR competition, and that was at Grafton where he carried Lane Mellers to a round winning score of 84.5 points. He was initially around the left on that occasion. Curr is only a newcomer to the tour, but the left-hander gets a nice chance to post a score here.
Cliff Richardson on Cliffhanger (TnR Bucking Bulls) vs JC Davis on Other Brother (TnR Bucking Bulls)
It has been a big few weeks for Richardson, who has failed to finish outside of the Top-4 at his last four PBR Australia events, plus he finished inside the Top-15 at the PBR World Finals. He goes up against a debut bull here, Cliffhanger, who he would probably know a fair bit about.
Other Brother is also making his PBR debut. Davis recorded his first Top-5 finish a few weeks back in Mildura, so he is another rider that we could see come on strong this season.
Lachlan Richardson on Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) vs Dan Rogan on Cattle King Ted (Dittmann Bucking Bulls)
Lachlan Richardson is currently the PBR World No. 1 after his aggregate win at the Grand Finals, and he will be planning on staying there for as long as he can. His opponent, Boogers Beach, is making his PBR debut.
Ted looks a tough draw for Dan Rogan, who we haven’t seen a lot of on tour over the past 18 months. The bull was covered for only the second time in his PBR career by Brady Fielder at the Grand Finals, having bucked off 16 of his 17 opponents leading into the 82.25-point bout.
Mitchel Paton on Slam n Jam (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) vs Lachlan Slade on Russian Roulette (ST Bucking Bulls)
Slam n Jam had a nice buck-off streak going before he gave up a qualified ride to Eduardo Aparecido last weekend. He has previously defeated Mitch Paton in PBR Competition, and that was at the National Finals in 2017. The Nebo cowboy has looked in good form since returning from injury, and this seems a great challenge for him into his hand.
Russian Roulette looks a nice draw which should allow Slade to progress. The Tamworth rider posted a single score from four outs last weekend, but he did go up against some pretty fierce opposition. The bull has only allowed four qualified rides in his dozen PBR trips. He will be around to the right eventually but can roll his way down the arena to start with dives in each direction.
Possible Round 2 Matchups
Note: Everything written past this point is only my prediction of what may happen if the named riders are to progress out of Round 1.
Barbosa on Maximum Rat (George Hempenstall) vs Pacheco on Freckles Brown (Wallace Bucking Bulls)
Maximum Rat has given up scores of 86 and 83.5 points to Kleier and Purcell in his last two trips. He will be to the left, but I’d expect Barbosa to go close to covering him.
We have also seen two qualified rides posted in the second half of the season aboard Freckles Brown. Kleier was 89-points in Cairns, and last weekend Sam Woodard was 86.25 points. From the right delivery, his first look will be to the left, but he can just dive and go back to the right.
Fielder on SweetPro’s Mystery (Kasper Bucking Bulls) vs Borghero on 25 To Life (Dunne Bulls)
Mystery has given up four qualified rides from his six trips, but he seems to be learning a trick or two which has enabled him to get the better of Cliff Richardson and Aaron Kleier in two of his last three outs. He goes to hard and to the right, something that really should suit Fielder, but his off-timed jumps are something to watch out for.
After giving up just one qualified ride for 88-points in his Rookie year, 25 To Life moves into his second season with a nice average bull score. He has met up with Borghero before, at Burnett Heads where he won the battle in 5.15 seconds. He will turn back to the left and away from Borghero’s hand, which will make life difficult for the cowboy.
Wilkinson on Guilty Pleasure (Dunne Bulls) vs Burtenshaw on Jack Frost (Dan Klabe)
Guilty Pleasure has really found his groove in his past few trips, posting great bull scores and winning his matchups. Wilkinson will have to deal with this bull around to the right and away from his hand.
We have only seen Jack Frost a handful of times since the 2018 Global Cup in Sydney, and that is where his buck off streak started. Six straight riders have come unstuck from this counter-clockwise spinner, but there is some late buck off times listed which could give the advantage in this matchup to Burtenshaw.
Sims on The D.O.C. (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls/MJ) vs Robards on Big Buck Hunter (ST Bucking Bulls)
Only two riders have heard the bell aboard The D.O.C., and both of those riders were left-handed riders. Aaron Kleier was 87.5 for the round win in Cairns earlier this year, and last weekend Troy Wilkinson was 88.25 to win Round 4 at the Grand Finals. That’s excellent news for Sims who seems to excel aboard these ranker bulls in the pen.
Big Buck Hunter looks a great draw in this round. We have not seen too much of him in the last year or two on tour, but when he turns up, he combines with someone for a solid score. He will be around to the right and into Robards’ hand with great timing.
Aparecido on Cattle King Ray Ban (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) vs Tyler on POA Lock n Load (Dittmann Bucking Bulls)
Ray Ban is rarely ridden, but we have seen two scores posted in the past five months of PBR competition. He goes back to the right-hand chutes for this trip, and we have only seen that happen a handful of times in his career. Earlier this season from the right in Mackay, he turned back to the left, which is not what we see when he bucks from the left chutes, and that may work against the Brazilian.
Lock n Load posts consistent bulls scores and can be as rank as he wants to be on the night. He can kick the lights out and display a blistering turn of pace all while maintaining excellent timing. He has given up three big scores this season, and all of those have been to left-handed riders, even though he regularly turns back to the right. Tyler will be giving this bull everything.
Kleier on POA Palooka (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) vs C. Richardson on Crackalackin (TnR Bucking Bulls)
Palooka is one of the few bulls in PBR Australia competition that has a strong record over Aaron Kleier. They have met up three times with the bull winning in 4.75 seconds at the Sydney Global Cup, 5.88 seconds at Cairns earlier this year and 3.38 seconds at Newcastle a month later. He turns back to the right, but the leftie has shown he can stick with him for a long time.
Coming off a solid Rookie season, Crackalackin has given up just one rider, and that was to Brady Fielder when he posted his lowest bull score of the season. He rebounded strong, marked 43.5- and 43.75-points last weekend, winning against Kaique Pacheco and Justin Robards. He prefers the right, and so does Richardson.
L. Richardson on On Point (TnR Bucking Bulls) vs Slade on Broken Halo (TnR Bucking Bulls)
On Point gives up regular scores but he did get the better of Richardson just a few weeks ago in Queanbeyan with the buck off coming at 7.72 seconds. Three of the last five right-handed riders to climb aboard have posted a score, so I would expect a red-hot Richardson to get his revenge.
Troy Wilkinson ended a long buck-off streak that this bull had going up until Adelaide a fortnight ago. This bull is tough to get by, mixing up his trips but at his best, Slade should be able to reach the whistle.
Second Chance #1 on Laramie (TnR Bucking Bulls) vs Second Chance #2 on oOh! Call Me Joe (TnR Bucking Bulls
The two riders who lose their Round 1 matchups but have posted the highest score or longest buck-off time will progress to this Second Chance matchup.
Laramie has only been out twice in PBR competition but looks a nice bull capable of posting high bull scores. Lachlan Richardson combined with the bull for 87.5 points at Mildura last month.
On the other end of the spectrum, Call Me Joe is a veteran, who gives up a qualified ride every three or four trips for scores upwards of 86 points. He is consistently around to the right.
Championship Round Bull Pen
Note: The riders will set the Championship Round matchups by way of a manual draw, but they will buck in this order.
Stealth (George Hempenstall) has bucked off six straight riders dating back to this weekend last year. He can mix his trips, but right-handers seem to enjoy more success than the lefties.
Gangatino (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) has allowed four scores in his nine out PBR career, and they have all been to right-handed riders. He leaves the chutes strong and kicks hard.
Mighty Whitey (Wallace Bucking Bulls) combined with Aaron Kleier and Brady Fielder for qualified rides in his Rookie year. Six other riders came up empty-handed, and he seems to favour a left turn.
Berzerk (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) was ridden for the first time in his lengthy career last weekend by Kaique Pacheco. He will turn right, but he has loads of tricks in his repertoire.
Wrangler’s Volatile (Kasper Bucking Bulls) likes to give it his all leaving the chutes before turning back to the left. Most buck-offs come around the 2-second mark, but Lawson Nobbs and Brady Fielder both posted scores in 2019.
Mr Buckmore (TnR Bucking Bulls) has now bucked off eight straight riders, and it is a reasonably handy list of names. When he is ridden, it’s for scores in the high 80’s, and it goes to riders that can handle his sometimes odd timing.
Black Tuxedo (Wallace Bucking Bulls) was awarded the 2019 Rookie Bull of the Year award last weekend with an average bull score of 43.42 points. He winds his way across the arena and will turn back to the right.
Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) is the 2019 Champion Bucking Bull of Australia. This veteran gave up just one score in 2019, and that was to Brady Fielder for 89 points. He will be to the right and gets stronger as the clock progresses.
I will be providing updates in the Ride the Rage Score Center from 6:00 pm AEST on Saturday and make sure you check back on Sunday for my 2019 Tamworth Iron Cowboy wrap-up.