This weekend, the 2021 PBR Australia tour will head to North Queensland for a night of Touring Pro Division action, and by the looks of the draw, it should be a great night.
Event 3 of the season will be held alongside the North Queensland Junior Elite Rodeo, which will kick off at 5:00 pm (AEST) this Saturday, 29 May 2021, at the Hervey Range Rodeo Grounds just outside of Townsville.
The PBR Australia event will follow at 7:00 pm. The Elite Rodeo has been broadcast on Facebook in the past, but I have not seen any indication that this will be the case for the Juniors. If anything does appear, I’ll be sure to post links to Ride the Rage social media.
This will be the first time that there has been a PBR Australia sanctioned event held at the venue, although many familiar riders and stock have performed at the Elite Rodeo over the years.
In 2019, Malcolm Woodard rode Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Brumby’s Pride for 83-points to hold off Rohan Markham and Brody Woodard to claim the bulk of the prizemoney.
Event Format and Points Available
As expected, a trimmed field of 20 riders are listed on the daysheet for this event.
Riders will contest a single long round, with the Top-6 returning for the Championship Round.
A maximum of 32 points will be up for grabs towards the 2021 PBR Australian National Standings. Each round winner will receive 7 points, with a further 18 points going to the event champion.
The event winner will also earn 10 points towards the 2021 PBR World Standings.
Current PBR Australia No. 1 Macaulie Leather leads the pack into the event on 94 points, with three-time National Champion Aaron Kleier the only rider within striking distance 17-points back.
Competition heavyweights Lachlan Richardson (-33 points) and Brady Fielder (-42 points) are not far away in third and fourth place.
They are followed by Lane Mellers, Caiden Sandilands and Dan Ruhland, who all sit between 52 and 55 points behind Leather.
The 2016 National Champion Cody Heffernan will be searching for his first score of the year, while the 2017 National Champion Troy Wilkinson makes his long-awaited return from injury after more than a year on the sidelines.
Tour veteran Mitch Paton will make his 2021 season debut.
Round 1 Highlight Matchups
Aaron Kleier has drawn Meet Ya Maker in the long round, and I think we will see him get a score. Last season the riders went 2-for-5 against this bull, with the buck-off times averaging over 6.5 seconds. The Brandenburg Bucking Bull is expected to turn back away from his hand. But the Clermont cowboy is 2-from-4 against bulls that spin to the right so far this season.
Super Natural was a rider favourite with Wallace Bucking Bulls, and I don’t think he will be any different here with Colin Fry and CF7 Bucking Bulls. The riders rode him eight times across three seasons for an average of 84.31 points. One of those rides was recorded by Caiden Sandilands, who gets a chance to make it 2-for-2 here. They matched up in Bundaberg last season for 84-points. The bull should be to the right and away from the Rockhampton bull rider’s hand.
Troy Wilkinson will face Down and Dirty from CF7 Bucking Bulls. This is another ex-Wallace Bucking Bull who has only been out once in his PBR career. Last season at Bundaberg, he bucked off Jack McArthur in 4.04 seconds. They move this bull across to the right delivery, so I expect he will turn back to the left and into the Upper Horton talent’s hand.
Lawson Nobb’s matchup with Hot Shot looks to be the best for the cowboys in the final section of the round against a formidable and rarely ridden line-up of Dittmann Bucking Bulls. This bull was out twice last season, and he was ridden once by Jay Borghero for 86-points and a round win at Rockhampton. He seems to prefer a left-handed spin, and that should suit the Moura cowboy.
The Championship Round Pen
The final round looks like a nice challenge for the riders with all bulls capable of posting massive bull scores.
A trio of Dittmann Bucking Bulls headlines the group with the 2019 Bucking Bull of the Year POA Fully Locked and Loaded scheduled to make his 2021 Season debut. He awaits the No. 1 seed in the round.
In the No. 5 slot is Cattle King Booger Beach, who was tremendous in his two trips at Rockhampton earlier this month, picking up Bucking Bull of the Night awards from both events, including a 45.5-point score on night two.
The No. 4 position is occupied by Reloaded, who was ridden for 89.5-points, and the Championship Round win on night one at Rockhampton by Lachlan Richardson.
The MJ Bucking Bulls and Brandenburg Bucking Bulls pairing of High Class Hooker and Berzerk will both make their season debut at the event. They will be facing the sixth and second-ranked riders.
The third-placed rider will face a debut bull named Gangster’s Retreat from CF7 Bucking Bulls. From what I have been able to find on social media, this bull is strong and should be around to the left in the gate.
As I mentioned earlier in this preview, I am unsure if we will get much coverage of this event. Touring Pro Division events can be a bit hit or miss, but I plan to put together a quick wrap-up of the event if there is enough information floating about, so check back on Sunday or Monday.