The final night of the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals began with some breaking news during rider check-in.
Just two hours before showtime, Lachlan Richardson, who was leading the Grand Finals aggregate, withdrew from the remainder of the completion after succumbing to a back injury sustained during Friday nights competition.
However, the race for the Gold Buckle was still on. With Richardson almost guaranteed a solid finish in the aggregate after his stellar Night 1 performance, which meant that Aaron Kleier still had work to do.
Here is how the last three rounds of the season unfolded inside the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre:
It was an interesting first section of the round with all of the riders ranked high in the event aggregate riding time.
Brady Fielder was the best those scores. The Clermont bull rider moved to 3-for-3 with a dominant 83.75 point ride aboard Get Ya Freak On (Diamond J Rodeo Co) to pick up the maximum 20 points for the round win.
Mareeba’s Kurt Shephard was the first to remain perfect. He put together a solid ride into his hand aboard Crocodile Rock (Dunne Bulls) for 82 points to finish second in the round.
Kelsey Pavlou earned 10 points for his third-place finish. The Toora rookie posted his first score of the Finals as he handed everything Meet Ya Maker (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) threw at him for 82-points.
Splitting fourth place in the round with ride scores of 81.75 points was Dingo’s Bailey Woodard, who rode Shoot to Thrill (Diamond J Rodeo Co) and Nebo’s Mitchel Paton, who teamed up with Annihilation (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls).
The final rider to post a score was Clermont’s Aaron Kleier. The defending National Champion made a business decision, keeping a 76.75 point score from his ride on Seek and Destroy (Dunne Bulls) and declining a re-ride option.
Singleton’s Cody Heffernan won the fourth round with an outstanding 85.5 point ride into his hand aboard Double XL (Wallace Bucking Bulls) to claim the full 20 points.
We had to wait a while to see another qualified ride as the bulls dominated the final long round.
In one of the final trips of the round, Aaron Kleier was super aboard Forever Amen (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls). He moved ahead of Richardson on the event aggregate leaderboard and clinched a history-making third straight PBR Australian National Championship. His ride was marked 84.5 points.
Moura’s Lawson Nobbs put another good ride together, handling the direction change of Berzerk (Brandenburg/MJ Bucking Bulls) to post a ride score of 83.75 points.
The bulls were excellent in the Championship Round, allowing just one ride.
That score went to Brady Fielder and he moved from second in the event standings to first with on of the best rides of the weekend aboard. Last’s season’s Rookie of the Year was dominated the entire 8-seconds aboard Drag Iron (Dunne Bulls) for 86 points. He added a further 20-points to his standings total.
I will touch on the bull power a little further down in this wrap-up.
2020 PBR Australian Grand Finals Leaderboard
1 – Brady Fielder – 333.00
2 – Kurt Shephard – 250.50
3 – Aaron Kleier – 245.50
4 – Lachlan Richardson – 172.50
5 – Lawson Nobbs – 168.25
6 – Bailey Woodard – 165.00
7 – Cody Heffernan – 85.50
8 – Jake Curr – 84.00
9 – Lachlan Slade – 83.75
10 – Kelsey Pavlou – 82.00
11 – Mitchel Paton – 81.75
12 – Caiden Sandilands – 81.50
Brady Fielder picked up 100 points for his aggregate win.
Kurt Shephard received 80 points, Aaron Kleier claimed 60 points and Lachlan Richardson held on to earn 50 points.
POA Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) posted the highest score of the night with an intense 44-point trip in the final matchup of the Championship Round with Kurt Shephard aboard for 3.97 seconds.
Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) was also outstanding, marked 43.75 points during the final round. Aaron Kleier could only stay on board for 2.37 seconds.
Razor Sharp (Wallace Bucking Bulls) posted the next highest score of the night with 43.5 points. He defeated Bailey Woodard in the Championship round with the clock stopping at an amazing 0.64 seconds.
Aaron Kleier was crowned the 2020 PBR Australian National Champion for the third time.
The gap back to runner-up Lachlan Richardson was 58 points.
Brady Fielder was awarded the 2020 Grand Finals Event Champion buckle and moved up to fourth in the year-end standings
With his second place finish in the Grand Finals, Kurt Shephard wound up third in the standings.
Mount Isa cowboy Jake Curr won the 2020 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year award and he finished fifth in the national standings.
Barcaldine’s Jackson Gray was second in the rookie race, finishing ninth in the standings.
POA Fully Locked & Loaded from Dittmann Bucking Bulls picked up the award for Bucking Bull of the Grand Finals. His two trips across the two nights of Grand Finals were marked 44.00 and 43.75 points.
Bloomsbury based stock contractor’s Dittmann Bucking Bulls also took out the Bull Team Award at the Grand Finals. Their winning team consisted of POA Fully Locked and Loaded, Cattle King Boogers Beach and POA Lock n Load.
CONGRATS TO ALL OF THE WINNERS!