The draw for the 2020 Ballarat Stampede has been released and it is shaping up to be an exciting event. There is a talented bunch of young and hungry bull riders emerging that will be looking to get the jump on some of the veterans of the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour as the drive toward the Gold Buckle recommences.
Don’t forget to check out my Event Preview and for more in-depth matchup analysis, keep your eye out on Saturday morning for the ‘The Morning Line’.
Let’s breakdown the daysheet:
The long round will begin with a string of Maynes Bucking Bulls, and the first matchup will feature a home-state cowboy. Warrnambool’s Joseph Down will be looking to get the cowboys off to a good start against Hazmat (7-2, PBRA).
Julia Creek’s Harry Bridges will be looking to even up the record of Amigo (3-2, PBRA) with veteran Sonny Schafferius next to ride against Espionage (0-0, PBRA) who will take his PBR debut trip.
The unridden Woodall Rodeo Company pairing of Dusty (4-0, PBRA) and Long Neck (3-0) await Queensland’s Lane Mellers and New Zealand’s JC Davis.
Beau Willis continues his return from injury and looks to have drawn well against Dunne Bulls’ High Risk (5-2, PBRA) before we close out the first section with Beaudesert’s Jay Borghero climbing aboard penmate Drag Iron (3-1, PBRA).
The run of Dunne Bulls continues with Full Effect (0-0, PBRA) making his PBR debut against Dingo rookie Brody Woodard.
25 to Life (8-2, PBRA) will be the matchup for Kiwi Group 2 winning jockey turned bull rider Chad Ormsby in his PBR debut. The last of the Dunne Bulls in the long round is Flaunt It (4-1, PBRA) who will face Barcaldine’s Jackson Gray.
We move back into a stretch of buckers from Woodall Rodeo Company, and it will be seven-time PBR World Finals Qualifier Lachlan Richardson charged with the task of breaking Mind Games (6-0, PBRA) unridden streak.
William Dougan makes his PBR Australia debut after competing briefly in Brazil back in 2016. The Belgian bull rider has drawn East Bound (2-0, PBRA) with Swan Hill veteran and Team Australia Assistant Coach Will Watson next to ride aboard Evil Cloud (1-0, PBRA).
The final out of the second section will be Yass cowboy Wayne Crisp against Woodall’s unridden bucker Blind Fury (14-0, PBRA).
Tamworth’s Ethan Watts gets the third section underway in a matchup with Kalkadoon Kid (6-1, PBRA) from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls. Mackay’s Cameron McLennan will take on a debut bull named Hair Trigger (0-0, PBRA) from the same pen.
Victoria’s Sam Daly will make his second PBR Australia appearance, and he will begin another run of bulls from Woodall Rodeo Company. He has drawn Fire Cracker (2-1, PBRA).
Another Victorian cowboy features in the next matchup with Sam Woodall climbing aboard the unridden Blindspot (3-0, PBRA).
We then switch across to the right delivery to finish off the string of Woodall buckers with Bungendore’s Jacob Rayner first out against Cookies Kaos (2-0, PBRA). Dingo cowboy Bailey Woodard will be next to ride when he takes on Rough Justice (1-0, PBRA) and Bundaberg’s Brendan Buckholz will make his Monster Energy Tour debut against Pet (3-0, PBRA) to round out the section.
Maynes Bucking Bulls bring us two debut bulls to begin the final section of the long round. Cloncurry’s Jack Keats has drawn Everest (0-0, PBRA) and Nebo veteran bull rider Mitchel Paton will climb aboard Rawhide (0-0, PBRA).
The round closes out with a run of veteran bulls, starting with Maynes’ Chemical Weapon (12-10, PBRA) who will line up against Wagga Wagga’s Sean Lynch.
In a mouth-watering matchup, 2017 PBR Australian National champion Troy Wilkinson will face Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Notorious (21-7, PBRA).
The Brandenburg and MJ Bucking Bulls partnership bring us the final three buckers.
Merrijig talent Will Purcell will face Berzerk (16-1, PBRA) for the second time in PBR competition. The pair did battle at the 2019 PBR Australia Grand Finals with the bull marked 43.5 points in the 5.88-second matchup.
Veteran Budd Williamson continues his farewell lap, and he also has a rematch. The Ayr bull rider will be looking to even up the score against Juicy Wiggles (19-2, PBRA) who bucked him off at the 2018 PBR Australia Grand Finals in 5.62 seconds.
The final out of the round features 18-year-old Hunter Valley rookie Jack Cameron against Slam n Jam (39-5, PBRA).
Championship Round Bull Pen
We will see a relatively ridable pen of bulls in the final round at the 2020 Ballarat Stampede, so there should be several riders vying for the win.
Class Act (4-2, PBRA) will be the first bull out against the eighth-placed rider and has put up bull scores of 42.75 and 42-points in his last two trips. This bull likes to turn back to the right, so it is no surprise that right-handed riders have recorded both scores.
Next out will be the veteran Dunne Bulls’ bucker Rockslide (14-3, PBRA) who has averaged a 41.91-point bull score in the past two years. He has been tough to get by in his career with left-handers holding the best record of the two dexterities.
Brandenburg and MJ Bucking Bulls’ High Class Hooker (13-7) will be a great draw for any right-handed rider with righties having recorded five of the seven scores. He has averaged a bull score of 42.92 points in the past 12 months of PBR Australia competition.
Mystery (4-4, PBRA) was the high-marked bull at the 2019 Melbourne Invitational for Mayne Bucking Bulls. This bull likes to turn back to the right, but he gives all riders a chance to reach the whistle. His average career bull score is 42.56 points.
Right-handed riders will be dreaming of a matchup with Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Annihilation (7-6, PBRA) who averages 42.58 points a trip. He bucks at a solid tempo and all six of the scores awarded has gone to righties with Jay Borghero marked a season-high 89.5 points last season.
Gangatino (6-4, PBRA) from Brandenburg and MJ Bucking Bulls likes to leave the chute faking but generally chooses a clockwise spin. Once again, all scores belong to right-handed cowboys with the average score coming out at 85.88 points. The bull’s career share is 42.40 points.
Brandenburg and MJ Bucking Bulls’ The D.O.C (7-2, PBRA) isn’t quite as nice to right-handers as his penmate, holding a 7-0 record. Lefties Aaron Kleier and Troy Wilkinson were marked 87.5 and 88.25 points respectively last season. The bull averages a 42.75-point bull score each time he leaves the chutes.
In the final out of the night, the highest-ranked rider will face Volatile (9-5, PBRA) from Maynes Bucking Bulls. This bull has averaged a bull score of 42.75 points across his career, and four of the five qualified rides he has given up have been to left-handed riders. The average sore awarded comes out at 86-points.
The new season events after a long break are always tough to predict, but we do have some solid Global Cup form to go on.
Lachlan Richardson looks like he will finish in the mix once again. The 27-year-old has a great shot at becoming the first riders to cover Mind Games in the long round. The bull will be away from his hand, but Richardson has been taking them both ways with confidence of late. Many of the short round bulls should also suit the Gresford bull rider, which gives him a great chance at finishing the night perfect.
Last start winner Troy Wilkinson is another rider that has been riding exceptionally well. The 29-year-old has a strong long round matchup that he can be a bunch of points on and the matchups at the top of the Championship Round list look right up the Upper Horton cowboy’s alley.
Will Purcell will carry the hopes of Victorian fans, and he has shown us that he is in great form early in the 2020 season with a couple of Top-5 finishes. The 26-year-old has a long round rematch, and he should be hungry to make amends.
For my darkhorse this weekend I will take Brendan Buckholz, who has been riding well at the Touring Pro Division level, and he has a nice Round 1 matchup.
I will be providing updates in the Ride the Rage Score Centre from 6:00 pm AEST on Saturday and don’t forget to check back on Sunday for my full wrap-up of the 2020 Ballarat Stampede.