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Aussie Event Preview – 2019 Traralgon Invitational

PBR Australia takes it’s Monster Energy Tour to the Gippsland Region of Victoria for the very first time this weekend where riders will contest the 2019 Traralgon Invitational.

The bull ride will kick off at 6:00 p.m local time (AEDT) on Saturday, 30 March at the Traralgon Recreation Reserve with RidePass broadcasting the event live to PBR fans across the globe.

Take an early look at the Traralgon Invitational Daysheet here.

The event format will be identical to the past few Victorian events with each cowboy in the 30 man field facing a bull in Round 1 and the top 10 riders on the leaderboard returning for the Championship Round. Following this short-go, the rider with the highest aggregate total will be crowned the 2019 Traralgon Invitational Champion.

At the 2019 Traralgon Invitational, there will be a maximum of 600 points available to anyone rider towards the 2019 PBR Australian National Standings.

Since the 2019 PBR Australia season resumed at Shepparton in late February, the cowboys have been riding an impressive 36.05% which is around 7% higher than the average recorded across all events in the past two seasons.

This will be the final opportunity for riders to earn Monster Energy Tour level points with the tour taking a brief hiatus following this event as we prepare for the June cup run.

Checkout this weeks edition of The PBR Rundown for details of all PBR events this weekend.

Previous Winners

Riders will be vying to become the inaugural event champion at the 2019 Traralgon Invitational.

Who to Watch

Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW) notched up his third win on the trot at last weekends PBR Touring Pro Division event in Yass and extended his lead in the race for the 2019 PBR Australian National Championship.

So far in March, the 29-year-old has recorded an incredible 5 round wins from just six rounds of competition, with a perfect streak of six-straight qualified rides ongoing. Heffernan’s season riding percentage at PBR Australia events is 61.54% with 1680 points banked as the 2016 Aussie Champion strives for a second gold buckle.

View the current PBR Australia Standings here.

Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) sits third in the Championship race on 1165 points holds the highest riding percentage on tour of all riders who have faced six or more bulls. The 26-year-old has covered two out of every three bovine athletes he has faced in the 2019 season and had ridden nine straight bulls before coming down before the whistle in the Yass long-round last weekend.

Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW) is the fourth-ranked rider in the 2019 standings with 838.33 points accumulated. The 2017 Aussie Champion is riding over 56% of his bulls so far this season and has cashed cheques in five of his seven events so far this season. Wilkinson has finished in the top-10 at all seven PBR Australia events this year despite the luck of the draw not falling his way in the long rounds at recent events.

Courtesy of his win in the long round at the Yass Touring Pro, Cliff Richardson (Gresford, NSW) moved up into the sixth spot in the standings and is the final rider on the Standings leaderboard within 1000 points of Heffernan. The 27-year-old will be aiming to bookend the current run of PBR Australia Monster Energy events after taking out the Shepparton Invitational in February and has covered an even 50% of his bulls across the last four events.

With the seventh-ranked Brady Fielder (Clermont, QLD) taking the weekend off, a talented pack of young-guns including Tyler Morgan (Mt Morgan, QLD) and Joshua Jones (Kingaroy, QLD) will be hoping for a strong result to trim the margin in the Rookie of the Year competition. Morgan is the best placed eligible rider and trails Fielder by 436.67 points with Jones a further 68.33 points adrift.

Welcome Back!

Returning from injury this weekend is the 2015 PBR Australian National Champion Fraser Babbington (Gisborne, NZ). The 32-year-old was right in the fight for the 2018 No. 1 spot when he suffered a punctured lung in Tamworth, just one week out from the PBR Australia Grand Finals. Babbington fought through the injury to compete in Townsville, but travel issues ultimately halted his drive for a second PBR title.

We also welcome back Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW), who has been out of competition since Australia Day. The 24-year-old will compete for the first time since breaking his collarbone during Round 1 of the Sacramento Invitational on the Unleash the Beast Tour. Burtenshaw rode almost 60% of his bulls at the 11 events he contested on Aussie soil last season.

Note: Burtenshaw has since withdrawn from Traralgon. The field has been reduced to 29 riders.

Check out Ride the Rage on Friday afternoon for a preview of the 2019 Traralgon Invitaitonal Bull Pen.

Published inEvent Previews and Wrap-Ups