On Saturday, the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour headed to Queensland’s Scenic Rim for the 2020 Beaudesert Invitational.
The weather forecast looked unfavourable heading into the weekend, but the Showgrounds managed to dodge the majority of the bad weather, crowning two champions as the dual-event format continued to prove the big winner.
The event kicked off the home stretch of the 2020 PBR Australia season.
While most eyes were on Lachlan Richardson and Aaron Kleier as they continue to battle it out for the national title, 28 other cowboys were striving to get their names into the championship race or qualify for the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals in Townsville later this month.
Here is how the afternoon and evening sessions unfolded:
After watching the top-ranked riders all buck off early in Round 1, Jake Curr took full advantage of the situation, capturing his maiden PBR Australia win with a 2-for-2 performance.
The 21-year-old was the only rider positioned inside the Top-10 to make a qualified ride in the long round of Event 1. His opponent was a debut bull named Socket (ST Bucking Bulls), and he threw plenty at Curr, diving his way across the pen as the pair combined for 79.5 points.
Curr split fifth place in the round and set up a Championship Round matchup with Back in Business (CMC Rodeo Company), who bull turned back into the Mount Isa cowboy’s hand, and that sealed the deal. Curr was too strong, marked 1.5 points higher than the bull in the 85.5-point ride.
The win earned Curr 68.5 points towards the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings which pushed him into the No. 3 position and within 203.5 points of ratings leader Lachlan Richardson.
Brady Fielder and Brody Woodard split second-place in the event and the Round 1 win with dual 83.5-point rides.
Fielder posted his score aboard Personal Space (Dunne Bulls). The Clermont bull rider looked comfortable riding away from his hand during the matchup, marked 1.5 points higher than the bull.
Woodard achieved the same rider score. The Dingo talent produced a particularly good ride as Wild West (CMC Rodeo Company) spun to the right and into his hand aboard in its PBA Australia debut.
The young guns each picked up 48.5 points towards the standings with Fielder finishing the weekend up eight spots in the No. 8 spot, while Woodard moved up twenty places to sit on the Grand Finals qualification bubble in the No. 23 ranking.
Mitchel Paton picked up his third Top-4 finish of the season with a fourth-place finish which earned him 29 points and moved him up eleven spots to sit just outside the Top-10 in the standings.
The Nebo veteran put together a solid ride away from his hand after Woomera (Dunne Bulls) made the turn to the left after faking a spin to the right. The pair were marked 83-points with Paton finishing just on top in the scores.
Finishing the event in fifth place was Jay Borghero, who recorded a qualified ride on Walking Wounded (JD Bucking Bulls). With the support of his hometown crowd, the Beaudesert bull rider split the 81-point trip evenly with the bull.
Borghero jumped up five spots in the rankings with the addition of 16 points to hold down the No. 12 spot in the standings.
Also finishing with qualified rides were Barcaldine’s Jackson Gray, who was 79 points on Catfish Billy (JD Bucking Bulls) and Tully’s Michael Smith, who turned down a re-ride option and kept a 70.5 point ride aboard Rusty (CMC Rodeo Company).
The first event kicked off just after a storm had passed over Beaudesert, but the arena surface looked to hold up very well and the bulls performed nicely.
Leading the way with 43.5-point bull scores in the long round was A Force from ST Bucking Bulls and Drag Iron from Dunne Bulls.
A Force was too strong for Ben Gard in 5.52 seconds while Drag Iron got the better of Kurt Shephard at the 6.22-second mark.
The title contenders all bounced back in the second event, but it was ratings leader Lachlan Richardson who finished the strongest to pick up his third win of the PBR Australia season.
The Gresford bull rider made his 28th birthday one to remember, producing an aggregate total of 175 points, which is the highest two-bull score on tour since June in 2019.
Richardson was out very late in the long round against Going Under (Dunne Bulls), and despite the bull making heavy contact with the upright leaving the chutes, he put together an excellent ride away from his hand for 86-points and the round win.
That set up a rematch with Big Buck Hunter (ST Bucking Bulls), with Richardson entering the contest with a 2-0 record against the bull with scores of 88 and 88.5 points in the results column.
The pair looked in perfect sync for the entire 8-seconds with the bull bucking hard to the left initially before reverting to the right which allowed the seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier to finish strong.
The judges awarded the ride 89-points with Richardson marked an incredible 45-points on the rider side.
Richardson’s clean sweep of the event earned 80 points which extended his lead in the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings out to 148.5 points.
Lane Mellers filled the runner-up spot in Event 2 after he produced a gritty 85.5-point ride aboard A Force (ST Bucking Bulls) in Round 1.
The Mundubbera cowboy looked set to buck off multiple times as the bull bucked powerfully to the left, but Mellers recovered as the bull changed direction to finish strong into his hand.
The 21-year-old picked started the weekend ranked No. 8 in the standings, but with the addition of a further 52 points, he moves up into sixth-place, 390 points adrift of the No. 1 ranked Richardson.
Aaron Kleier and Kurt Shephard shared third place in the event but took different paths to record their 83.5 point scores.
Kleier’s score came in the final out of the first round as he made light work of Personal Space (Dunne Bulls). The Clermont cowboy finished 1.5 points ahead of the bull, who turned back to the left and played perfectly into Kleier’s wheelhouse.
The reigning PBR Australian National Champion couldn’t handle Rockslide (Dunne Bulls) in the final round. Despite that buck off, Kleier earned 34 points towards the standings to stay in touch with Richardson as Townsville approaches rapidly.
After bucking off in the long round, Shephard made it back into the Championship Round in 8th place on time, and he took full advantage. The Mareeba talent handled the multiple direction changes of Song & Dance (CMC Rodeo Company) to move up the leaderboard.
Shephard picked up 37 points after finishing second in the short-go, which consolidates his No. 5 ranking.
Bailey Woodard rounded out the top-5 with another strong finish, and he has now pickup up championship points at the last three cities that the tour has visited. The Dingo cowboy added 16 points to jump up into the No. 15 position.
In the long round, Woodard dominated The Pet (ST Bucking Bulls) for 82-points with his share of the clockwise spinning ride eclipsing the bull by 2 points.
Rookie bull riders completed the rundown for Event 2 with Joseph Down, Zane Hall and Kelsey Pavlou all finishing in the points.
Down rode Catfish Billy (JD Bucking Bulls) for 80.5 points and a sixth-place finish, Hall gritted out 79.5 points aboard Tough Task (Dunne Bulls), and Pavlou handled a tricky trip from Neils Parts Live Action (Ruhland Ranch) for 79-points.
The high-marked bull of the tour stop was Big Buck Hunter from ST Bucking Bulls, who continues to produce honest trips. His 44-points with event winner Lachlan Richardson aboard took his average mark since the PBR Australia restart up to 43.63 points.
The 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour stays in the South-East corner of Queensland for another multi-event stop in Towoomba on Saturday, 7th November with events starting at 1 pm and 6 pm undercover at the Showgrounds.