The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour resumes following an almost three-month hiatus this weekend with the 2019 edition of the Shepparton Invitational.
The event will commence at 6:00 pm local time (AEDT) at the Shepparton Showgrounds with tickets available here.
PBR Fans around the world will be able to catch all the action LIVE from Victoria on RidePass!
Checkout The PBR Rundown for this week.
The field of 27 riders will contest the event with the talented Brazilian pair of Robinson Guedes and Flavio Vinicius da Silva lining up alongside a strong Aussie and Kiwi contingent.
Following Round 1, the Top 10 riders will return for for the Championship Round to battle it out for the buckle.
Take an early look at the Shepparton Invitational Daysheet here.
In 2018, Singleton’s Cody Heffernan dominated PBR Australia’s debut event in Shepparton, recording a personal one-two finish thanks to a 4-for-4 performance on two entries.
Heffernan’s perfect night was capped off with dual 89-point rides aboard Call Me Joe (TnR Bucking Bulls) and Ray Ban (George Hempenstall) in the Championship Round.
New Zealand’s Fraser Babbington also put up big numbers in the short go combining with Hillbilly Deluxe (Maynes Bucking Bulls) for 89-points in the short-go to split second place in the event with Heffernan.
Who to Watch
With PBR Australian National Standings leader Rubens Barbosa (Brazil) back in North America competing, Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) is the highest ranked rider competing in Shepparton.
Kleier finished 2-for-3 in South Australia and looks on track to maintain his very high riding percentage. He trails Barbosa by just 10-points after a strong third-place showing in South Australia with rookie Brady Fielder (Clermont, QLD) sitting a further 165-points adrift in third place.
After a solid showing on Day 2 of the PBR Global Cup, Fielder broke through for his maiden PBR Australia win last weekend at the Touring Pro Event in Marrabel, South Australia. The 20-year-old has covered seven of his first nine career bulls at all levels PBR competition.
View the updated PBR Australia Standings here.
One rider who will be looking to bounce back following a rough start to the current season will be 2018 Rookie of the Year Lane Mellers (Mundubbera, QLD). Mellers is 0-for-7 at PBR events this season. He has been riding well at rodeo events, so I don’t think his riding percentage will remain at zero for too much longer.
Mitchel Paton (Nebo, QLD) looks to be another rider in good form following a good performance in the Festival State. Paton struggled through the final events of the 2018 calendar year with a broken thumb on his riding hand. After a 2-for-3 fourth-place finish last weekend, he will be hoping to keep the ball rolling in Victoria.
Defending Event Champion and 2016 PBR Australian National Champion Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW) had a tough start to the 2019 season but after an impressive performance at the Global Cup against some of the best bucking bulls in the world, the 29-year-old looks to be getting back to his best form.
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) will spend another week on home soil as he battles Visa issues for his return to the PBR’s Premier Series in the USA. Richardson has ridden his last 3-straight bulls, and the 26-year-old Veteran has finished Top-10 in five of his previous seven events worldwide.
2017 PBR Australian National Champion Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW) has finished in the Top-10 at all three events he has contested since returning from injury. The 28-year-old surprisingly is searching for his first event win since the taking out the Townsville Iron Cowboy in his Championship year.
Brazilian Robinson Guedes (Descalvado, SP) is no stranger to the land down under. 30-year-old Guedes is a two-time PBR Australia National Finals event champion who finished second in his bid for a three-peat.
Tomorrow we will take a look inside the Shepparton Invitational Bull Pen.