2018 Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR Preview

The PBR Australia Touring Pro Division heads west this weekend for the Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR. This event usually kicks off the PBR Season but with the extended tour this year it finds itself in an important spot on the calendar in the run to the PBR Australia Grand Finals. The event kicks off at 7pm on Saturday Night.

I am not sure what updates we will get from the event, but hopefully, live scores are up and running and I can provide some information via social media. If not, we may have to wait a day or two to find out the full results.

Event History

Cunnamulla, QLD (750km west of Brisbane) holds the Cunnamulla Fella Festival each year and it celebrates the best in outback lifestyle with activities and entertainment across the long weekend.

The 2016 Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR champion was Mitchel Paton who went 2-for-3 to win the buckle. Aaron Kleier used an 89.0 Point ride in Championship Round on Acid Rain (Robert Bunn) to take out the 2017 event.

The Format

This event has taken on a different format each year and this year is no exception with the Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR Daysheet indicating that 12 Riders will battle it out over 3 Rounds of competition.

View the Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR Daysheet HERE

The Field

With top ranked riders Aaron Kleier and Cliff Richardson absent from the Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR draw, current Australian No. 3 Fraser Babbington (Gisborne, NZ) and No. 4 Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW) will be looking to take advantage with strong results.

Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) has returned home to Australia following the PBR Music City Knockout in Nashville, TN last weekend and will take the opportunity to compete for more World Points in Cunnamulla.

2016 event champion Mitchel Paton (Nebo, QLD) will be looking for another win in South West Queensland.

Fellow Global Cup teammates Jason Mara (Cloncurry, QLD) and Ethan Watts (Tamworth, NSW) will both be looking for strong results to put their hat in the ring for Team Australia selection for the 2019 PBR Global Cup in the USA.

Round 1

21-year-old Lawson Nobbs (Moura, QLD) will get us underway on Russian Roulette (Stuart Timm/Allen) and I think he will get a score on the board. This bull has been out six times in PBR competition for 3 qualified rides. Canadian Lonnie West bucked off in 7.80 seconds on night 1 of the Sydney Global Cup.

After riding only 4 of his last 12 bulls, Fraser Babbington has drawn well here with Big Buck Hunter from Stuart Timm being ridden in his last 3 outs. This is a good chance for the Kiwi to get on the board.

Round 2

Lawson Nobbs has a nice chance to make it 2-for-2 with his Round 2 draw Heather’s Little Spinner from Robert Bunn. This bull has been ridden 3 times in his last 5 outs and although he does have a few different trips in him, he looks a nice fit for left-handed riders out of the left chutes.

I think we will see Lachlan Richardson on the board in Round 2 with his draw Back Horn Black (Robert Bunn) being covered in both his outs so far in PBR competition.

Cody Heffernan is another rider with a good draw. Forgiven from the Robert Bunn bull herd was ridden at Mt Cotton by Cliff Richardson for 83.0 points and I think Heffernan will be too good here.

Good riders seem to cover Spartan (Robert Bunn) and we should see Fraser Babbington get another score here. This bull carried Aaron Kleier to the round win in Julia Creek last year with Kurt Shephard and Cliff Richardson also getting the job done in 2017.

Round 3

Lachlan Richardson should be able to get another score on the board in the final round of the night. He has drawn Snap Chat from Stuart Timm who was covered twice at the end of 2017. Braydon Wellby scored 85.25 points at Tamworth to finish 4th in the Round and I think we could see a similar score here.

There are a few bulls having their second out in this round (including Snap Chat) so there may be some changes, but I have found one matchup that I am very excited about.

Fraser Babbington has drawn Acid Rain (Robert Bunn). We could see big numbers here once again. Last time these two clashed it resulted in an 89.25-point ride at the Tamworth Invitational. In the bull’s two PBR trips since, both Jason Mara and Cliff Richardson have made the whistle for 89.0 and 88.0 points respectively. As I mentioned earlier, Acid Rain carried Aaron Kleier to 89.0 points and the Victory here in 2017 with Matt Triplett scoring a massive 90.75 points in Newcastle back in 2016. This should be a great matchup.

Predictions

I think we will see Fraser Babbington and Lawson Nobbs at the top of the Cunnamulla Fella Festival PBR leaderboard as the night draws to a close. I am sure Lachlan Richardson won’t be too far behind in the race for the buckle.