This weekend, PBR Australia’s Monster Energy Tour returns to Victoria for the 2020 Ballarat Stampede. This event will be the first stop of the new year, and it begins a run of Victoria and Southern New South Wales events that stretch through the next couple of months.
For the second year running, the PBR event will be held at the Ballarat Showgrounds with the action kicking off at 7:00 pm local time (6:00 pm AEST) on Saturday, 7 March.
The event will be broadcast live around the world on RidePass.
Check out this week’s edition of The PBR Rundown.
The 2019 event was the inaugural PBR Australia stop in Ballarat, and it was Cody Heffernan who picked up the buckle. The Singleton cowboy finished with a two-bull aggregate total of 172.5 points.
Heffernan held off Lachlan Richardson and Mitchel Paton thanks to an 88.5-point ride aboard Mr Buckmore from Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls in the final out of the night.
Event Format, Points and Prizemoney
Twenty-eight riders from across Australia, New Zealand and Belgium will take their place in the draw.
Each cowboy will face a bull in Round 1 with the Top-8 riders returning for the Championship Round. The rider with the highest aggregate ride score at the completion will be crowned the 2020 Ballarat Stampede Champion.
A total prize pool of $14,000 is up for grabs, as is a points pool of 269 points towards the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings.
The victorious rider in each round will be awarded 10 points, with a further 25 points awaiting the event winner.
The event winner will also receive 15 points towards the 2020 PBR World Standings.
A strong mix of veteran riders and emerging talent will contest the event. There are many new faces that we will need to keep our eye on over the coming weeks, but here are a few of the highest ranked cowboys competing in The Golden City.
Gresford’s Lachlan Richardson heads to Ballarat ranked No. 5 in the country after riding 50% of his bulls to start the new season. Last month, the seven-time PBR World Finals Qualifier recorded a seventh-place finish at the PBR Global Cup in Texas before adding a sixth-place result in Marrabel.
Will Purcell has had a strong start to the new season, holding down the No. 7 position on the leaderboard thanks to a fifth placing in Tamworth and a podium finish in Marrabel. The Merrijig cowboy tasted success on his home-leg of the tour last season with a big win at Wodonga in November.
2017 PBR Australian National Champion Troy Wilkinson scored a strong win at the Marrabel Touring Pro last weekend. The Upper Horton bull rider has ridden three of his previous four bulls dating back to the PBR Global Cup in Texas and has climbed to the No. 12 spot in the national standings.
Mundubbera talent Lane Mellers has not had the best start to the 2020 season, but the 20-year-old would have fond memories of last season’s Monster Energy Tour Victorian run where he put together a string of Top-8 finishes. The 2018 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year sits 15th in the standings heading into the Ballarat event.
The Bull Pen
Charged with defending their home-state dirt once again will be Victoria’s Woodall Rodeo Company, with support coming from as far away as North Queensland.
Joining the pen in Ballarat are bulls from Queensland based stock contractors Dunne Bulls, Brandenburg Bucking Bulls and MJ Bucking Bulls.
Maynes Bucking Bulls will also make the journey back to Victoria from Tamworth after picking up the high-marked out award at the Melbourne Invitational late last season.
As I mentioned earlier, this event will be broadcast live on RidePass.
I will also 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.
Check back tomorrow as I break down the daysheet for the 2020 Ballarat Stampede.