After covering 40 per cent of their bulls last Saturday night in Shepparton, the cowboys of the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour head down the Midland Highway aiming to stay on top at this weekends 2019 Bendigo Invitational.
The competition will begin at 6:00 p.m local time (AEDT) on Saturday, 2 March with tickets are available from Oztix.
If you can’t make it to the Bendigo Showgrounds in person, this event will also be broadcast live around the world on RidePass. Subscribers can tune in to the live stream on Saturday night to catch every ride.
Checkout this weeks edition of The PBR Rundown.
Twenty-eight riders from three nations will take their place in the draw and the event format will be almost identical to last weekend.
All 28 cowboys will compete in Round 1 with the top 10 riders returning for the Championship Round. The rider with the highest aggregate total leaves with the 2019 Bendigo Invitational Champions buckle.
Take an early look at the Bendigo Invitational Daysheet here.
2015 PBR Australian National Champion Fraser Babbington (Gisborne, NZ) stole the show at the inaugural 2018 Bendigo Invitational riding four bulls from four attempts and taking home first and second place in the event on two entries.
Babbington covered both High Flying Akubra (John Gill & Sons) and Light Em Up (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls) for 87-points each in the Championship Round.
Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) held down the third and fourth positions on the leaderboard after producing his own perfect night on his way to claiming the 2018 PBR Australian National Championship.
The only other rider to remain perfect through the two rounds of competition was Justin Paton (Nebo, QLD) who finished fifth in the event.
Who to Watch
Following a strong finish at the Monster Energy Tour event in Shepparton, Aaron Kleier reclaimed his spot at the top of the 2019 PBR Australian National Standings leaderboard with 1085 points. The 21-year-old has ridden seven of his last eight bulls in PBR Australia competition.
The reigning Australian Champion went 2-for-2 to finish in second place last weekend behind 2019 Shepparton Invitational event champion Cliff Richardson (Gresford, NSW).
Richardson was the big mover, jumping up eight spots to hold down fifth place in the standings with 595-points, just 10-points behind the
Another rider who made a move up the rankings last weekend was Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW). The 2017 PBR Australian National Champion finished his night in Shepparton with another top-5 finish to jump up into the number 3 spot, 431.67 points adrift of Kleier.
View the current PBR Australia Standings here.
Brazilian Flávio Vinícius da Silva (Matão, SP) looked in great form at the Monster Energy Tour level, recording a third-place finish in Shepparton, as did Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW), who finished fourth.
Richardson and has now ridden five straight bulls and is showing no signs of slowing down as he awaits clearance to head back across the Pacific to make his return the premier Unleash the Beast Tour.
Cody Heffernan‘s (Singleton, NSW) buck-off in the long round last weekend came as a surprise to many, and I am sure the 2016 PBR Australian National Champion will be fired up to make one stick in Bendigo.
2018 Rookie of the Year Lane Mellers (Mundubbera, QLD) recorded his first qualified ride of the 2019 season in last weekends long round but then ran into a tough one in the Shepparton short-go. The 19-year-old should take plenty of encouragement from last weekends top-10 finish.
Justin Paton (Nebo, QLD) will also return to PBR Australia competition after spending much of the past two months riding in the USA.
Tomorrow we will take a look inside the Bendigo Invitational Bull Pen.