The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour returned to Rockhampton for a dual-event stop inside the Great Western Hotel on Saturday.
With crowd restrictions beginning to ease, the atmosphere inside the arena was the rowdy as the best cowboys in the country took on some of Central and North Queensland’s best bucking bulls at the 2020 Rockhampton Invitational.
Here is how the afternoon and evening events played out:
Aaron Kleier picked up his third win of the 2020 season with a 2-for-2, 169.5-point effort. The Clermont talent started his afternoon right with an 84.5-point trip aboard Drag Iron. Kleier was outstanding in the rematch, exceeding the Dunne Bulls bucker’s 41.5-point bull score as they did battle around to the right and away from the 22-year-old’s hand.
The defending Australian Champion split second place in the long round, which set up a matchup with Annihilation from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls in the Championship Round. Again, Kleier was almost flawless, outscoring the bull by 2-points in their 85-point ride which was also away from his hand.
For his third win of the season, Kleier earned 73 points which trimmed the deficit between his No. 2 ranking and the top-ranked Lachlan Richardson to 44.5 points.
Richardson limited the damage with a perfect two ride performance of his own, falling just short of victory with a two-bull total of 168.5. The Gresford cowboy picked up his third runner up finish since the PBR Australia restart, collecting 59-points to move his season total onto 393 points.
He opened his account with a textbook 82.5 point ride away from his hand. The judges put Richardson well ahead of Oooh Yah from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls as they combined to finish fifth in Round 1.
The 27-year-old then avenged his 2019 buck off at the hands of POA Lock n Load with an excellent right-handed bull ride, scoring 86 points aboard the Dittmann Bucking Bull the Final Round win.
Beaudesert’s Jay Borghero picked up the fourth round win of his career with a memorable 86-point ride aboard Hot Spot from Dittmann Bucking Bulls. The 25-year-old handed the bull’s fake to the left and then made no mistakes as the bull turned back into his hand.
Borghero had the last shot at Kleier and Richardson however Black Tuxedo from Wallace Bucking Bulls got the better of him late, with the judges’ review confirming the buck off time of 7.90 seconds.
The third-place finish earned Borghero 45 much-needed points towards Grand Finals qualification, and he jumped up a bunch of spots and into No. 21 on the standings leaderboard.
Jake Curr confirmed that he belongs inside the Top-5 in the standings with another strong finish featuring an 84.5 point trip aboard Digger in the bull’s PBR Australia debut trip for Dittmann Bucking Bulls in Round 1.
From the moment the gate cracked the Mount Isa bull rider looked to have a great seat as the bull spun into his hand and the score was good enough to split second place in the long round with Kleier.
The 21-year-old picked up 30.5 points for his third-place finish to consolidate his No. 3 ranking.
Local cowboy Caiden Sandilands finished in fourth place with 83-points after he also covered a debut bull in the long round. Dunne Bulls’ Going Under spun to the left and into the 21-year-old’s hand, with Sandilands remaining in excellent shape for the entire 8 seconds to post a rider score 2-points above the bull.
Sandilands earned 16 points which pushed him up the standings and into 19th place.
Splitting fifth place in the event was Tamworth’s Lachlan Slade and Darwin rookie Eli Bee. Both riders were marked 82-points late in Round 1 against Kleier Bucking Bulls.
Slade was successful aboard Code Blue, while Bee covered Onion Head.
Completing the final leaderboard were Aubury’s Ben Gard, who rode Mickey Mouse from Wallace bucking bulls for 78.5 points, and Townsville’s Braydon Wellby, who handled Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Sick an Twisted for 76.5 points.
The High Marked Bull of the afternoon performance was Razor Sharp from Wallace Bucking Bulls, who posted an outstanding 44 point trip in his 2.18-second Championship Round demolition job of Ben Gard.
Just hours after Kleier scored the 17th event win of his career, an elated Sam Woodard picked up his maiden event title with a brilliant 173.5 point showing under the bright lights.
The ‘long-haired outlaw’ kicked off his two-score performance with an 86 point ride against Iron Jacket from Wallace Bucking Bulls. The bull may have turned back away from the 22-year-old’s hand, but the two stayed in sync, with Woodall finishing strongest to record the second-highest score of Round 1.
Woodall then conquered Barn Yard from Kleier Bucking Bulls in the Championship Round, with the pint-sized cowboy sticking to one of the biggest buckers in the pen for a further 87.5 points. The score was good enough for the Final Round win.
The Heywood talent picked up 77 points for his win, and that moves Woodall up two spots and into third place in the standings.
Lachlan Richardson again went a perfect 2-for-2 in the second event to add a fourth runner up finish in the last month of PBR Australia action.
After riding Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Freckles Brown at the previous tour stop in Mackay for 83 points, the seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier went a point better in Rockhampton for a ride score of 84-points.
From the fourth slot in the Championship Round, Richardson made no mistakes aboard Ol’ Son from Dunne Bulls despite the bovine’s fake to the left before he made the turn back into the Townsville based bull rider’s hand.
The No. 1 ranked Richardson took full advantage of Aaron Kleier‘s long round buck off, earning 58 points to extend his lead out to over 100 points.
Finishing in third place was Lawson Nobbs, who turned in his best finish on tour since winning the Touring Pro Division event at the Great Western Hotel back in December on New Year’s Eve.
The Moura talent was the final rider out in Round 1, and he made the wait worth it, with a brilliant ride away from his hand. Nobbs outperformed Cattle King King’s Ransom from Dittmann Bucking Bulls to take the round win with 87.5 points.
Nobbs had the final chance to take the event win, but the up and coming Cattle King Boogers Beach won the matchup for Dittmann Bucking Bulls.
The 22-year-old bounded up to 13th place in the standings after collecting 45-points on the night.
Mareeba’s Kurt Shephard now sits fifth in the standings after putting together his fourth Top-5 finish since returning from injury.
The 26-year-old earned 29 points with a fourth-place finish. Shephard entered the final round placed third thanks to an 84.5-point ride around to the right on Forever Amen from Brandenburg Bucking Bulls.
Rounding out the Top-5 in the evening event was Jay Borghero, who added a further 14 points to his standings total to climb a further four spots into 17th place.
In Round 1, Borghero recorded an 83-point qualified ride aboard Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ High Class Hooker.
Rockhampton’s Caiden Sandilands again found himself in the money with a sixth-place finish thanks to his long round ride aboard Digger from Dittmann Bucking Bulls.
The finish was worth an extra 8 points, which pushed Sandilands up an additional place to 18th in the standings.
Completing the rundown were Braydon Wellby and Bailey Woodard who finished seventh and eight respectively.
Townsville’s Wellby combined with Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Kalkadoon Kid for 81.5 points and Dingo’s Woodard covered Crocodile Rock from Dunne Bulls for 80-points.
Wallace Bucking Bulls‘ Razor Sharp again topped the Bull Scores, marked 43.5 points in his sub-2-second dispatch of Jay Borghero in the Championship Round.
2019 PBR Australia Bucking Bull of the Year POA Fully Locked & Loaded equalled the mark just two trips later with Kurt Shephard lasting 3.8 seconds aboard the Dittmann Bucking Bull.
The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour takes a week break before returning at Beaudesert on Saturday, 31 October 2020.
Check back on Tuesday morning for a full wrap up of all the PBR action from North America, plus we will delve further into the statistics from the 2020 Rockhampton Invitational.