After being pipped at the post in his rookie season, Aaron Kleier is focusing all his efforts to ensure he ends the year with the 2018 PBR Australian National Champion buckle around his waist.
The 20-year-old entered the 2017 Australian National Finals as the No. 1 rider in the country, but a 0-for-2 performance saw him overtaken by Troy Wilkinson who took home the gold buckle by just 50.83 points.
Despite the disappointing performance at the Finals, Kleier was able to achieve his goal and take out the 2017 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year title.
“I didn’t go into the year expecting to do so well as I did, but I got a few good results and won Marrabel at my second event. That is when I set the goal of winning the Rookie title which I was able to do.”
The runner-up finish in the Championship was an added bonus that allowed the Clermont, Queensland, cowboy to confidently establish his next goal, the 2018 PBR Australian National Championship.
Entering the final stretch of the 2018 PBR Australia season, Kleier finds himself in an ideal position to achieve his objective. He currently holds a 658.32-point lead over the No. 2 ranked Cliff Richardson with Fraser Babbington a further 49.17 points back in third place.
The experience of competing in high pressure events such as the PBR Global Cup events in Edmonton and Sydney should hold Kleier in good stead as we enter the business end of the 2018 PBR Australia season.
“It was great to be part of Team Australia at the Global Cups. Being around the more experienced Australian riders and with Troy Dunn as your coach definitely gives you more confidence as a bull rider. I really enjoyed the motivation and team building side of the camp.”
After results did not go Kleier’s way at the Mackay and Rockhampton Invitationals last month, he was looking forward to bouncing back with a strong result at the Beaudesert Invitational.
“I was keen for my re-match with SweetPro’s Deceptacon (2017 Grafton 2.07 BOT), so it was disappointing when the Beaudesert was called off but now I am focused on getting a good result at the next event in Dubbo.”
A good result at the Dubbo Invitational next weekend will ensure Kleier makes it to November’s PBR Australia Grand Finals in Townsville as the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the country.
It will also put him in an excellent position to earn a third Team Australia jersey for the 2019 PBR Global Cup in Arlington, Texas. Coach Dunn is scheduled to announce two coaches picks by October 29 with the team to be finalised following the Adelaide Invitational in December.
Despite barely spending a day ranked outside the top 50 in the PBR World Standings over the past 18 months and the opportunity to compete in the USA, Kleier’s focus has remained at home, rather than abroad.
“I haven’t thought about competing overseas too much. I have set my goal and once that is achieved I will look at my options. But yes, I do want to compete overseas.”
The young gun’s mantra is a simple one: Keep riding bulls, cover as many as he can and achieve one goal at a time.
Kleier will next compete at PBR Australia’s Dubbo Invitational at the Dubbo Showgrounds in New South Wales on 20 October 2018 with action starting at 7 pm. Visit the PBR Australia website for details.