Jack McArthur and Kelsey Pavlou split the spoils at the 2020 Caboolture Invitational, each taking home an event win in the return of the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour following the COVID-19 enforced break in the season.
Both McArthur and Pavlou took advantage of the single day, dual event format to record their first PBR event wins of their careers, with both leaping into the Top-10 on the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings leaderboard.
Here is how each event unfolded inside the Arena at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre.
Competing at his first PBR Australia event since the 2017 edition of Last Cowboy Standing, Jack McArthur went a perfect 2-for-2 to win the afternoon performance inside the QSEC Arena.
The Cooyar bull rider traded blows with the No. 1 ranked Lachlan Richardson in the Championship Round but came out on top with an accumulative ride total of 166-points.
“It’s a good feeling,” McArthur told Warren Matotek live on RidePass during the presentation ceremony.
“It’s just a good feeling getting down the road again with the boys and having some fun.”
In Round 1, the 25-year-old opened his account with a 78.5-point ride away from his hand aboard Chasin Dragons (BK Bucking Bulls). The ride had him placed in fifth place entering the eight-rider championship round and set up a clash with Annihilation (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls).
McArthur made no mistakes during the 8-second matchup with Annihilation, matching the bull’s fast anticlockwise spin and the judges awarded him 87.5 points.
For his win, McArthur earned a total of 66 points towards the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings and which places him in the No. 7 spot.
Despite posting the highest ride score of the afternoon during the final round, Lachlan Richardson ended the event in second place.
The 27-year-old made light work of Tiger King (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) in the bull’s debut trip during Round 1, scoring 77 points.
Richardson’s draw from sixth place on the leaderboard would be a familiar foe in Big Buck Hunter (ST Bucking Bulls). The pair previously faced off at the 2019 Newcastle Invitational where they split a round winning 88 points.
The Gresford native eclipsed that score in the Caboolture dirt, posting 88.5 points after countering the bull’s change of direction mid-ride. The score had him looking like the event winner with an aggregate total of 165.5 points until McArthur surpassed him a ride later.
With his runner up finish and the Championship Round win, Richardson earned a total of 58 points which widens the gap between himself and No. 2 ranked Aaron Kleier in the Australian Standings to 85.5 points.
Kleier suffered a disappointing 5.71-second buck off at the hands of Whiskey Shot (Dunne Bulls) in the long round and failed to pick up any points.
A fantastic 88-point bull ride aboard Jersey Joe (BK Bucking Bulls) earned Sam Woodall maximum points with his Round 1 win, but the Heywood cowboy would ultimately finish the event in third place. Woodall looked very comfortable riding into his hand during the matchup as the bull wound his way around to the right.
Woodall was unable to make it stick in the final ride of the afternoon, with Russian Roulette (ST Bucking Bulls) needing a 44-point trip to dispatch the 22-year-old at 2.72 seconds.
He picked up 45 points for his podium finish and moved into the Top-10 on the National Standings leaderboard.
Atherton’s Kurt Shephard made a successful return from shoulder surgery which had kept him out of competition for almost a year, finishing in fourth place thanks to a solid 83-point ride on Woomera (Dunne Bulls).
Sam Champ put together a nice qualified ride in his first cup-level event since 2017. The Meldale talent scored 82-points aboard Moves Like Jagger (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) to round out the Top-5.
Also posting qualified rides in Round 1 were Clermont’s Brady Fielder, Bundaberg’s Brendan Buckholz and Rockhampton’s Caiden Sandilands.
Dunne Bull’s Home Grown posted the highest bull score of the afternoon, receiving 45 points from the judges in his 4.31 second trip with Tyler Morgan aboard.
Jersey Joe (BK Bucking Bulls), Little Thunder (ST Bucking Bulls) and Russian Roulette (ST Bucking Bulls) also produced noteworthy outs, with the trio all marked 44 points.
After bucking off his first bull in PBR competition during Event 1 earlier in the afternoon, Kelsey Pavlou bounced back in a big way, taking home a Bob Berg Champions Buckle from his first-ever PBR Australia tour stop.
The 18-year-old was the last rider to feature on the long-round daysheet for the evening event, and he made it count, surviving a judge’s review to post the highest score of Event 2.
Pavlou, who hails from Toora, a small farming town in the Gippsland region of Victoria, was marked 83.5 points in his Round 1 clash with Black Rat (ST Bucking Bulls).
“It’s definitely exceeded expectations,” said the rookie bull rider early on Sunday morning when reflecting on his victory.
“There’s no feeling quite like it!”
Pavlou also added that he carries a well-known proverb down the road with him from event to event.
“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing,” he said.
Qualified rides proved much harder to come by in the evening session, with the bulls dominating the long round and allowing just the five qualified rides.
The Championship Round pen of bulls was even more menacing, producing a shut out with the placings following Round 1 standing after the dust had settled.
Pavlou picked up 65 points towards the PBR Australia standings thanks to his Round and Event Wins, catapulting himself up into 8th place.
Matt Hollis held down second place with a crafty 82.5-point performance aboard Catfish Coolie (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) in the opening round.
The bull looked to spin into the Tamworth cowboy’s hand but reversed to the right, requiring Hollis to make some critical corrections to reach the bell.
The 19-year-old earned 54 points for his runner up finish, and that puts him up into the No. 9 spot in the 2020 standings.
Nebo veteran Mitchel Paton finished the event in third place with a single ride score of 81.5 points. The 30-year-old had plenty of work to do during the 8-second ride as Guilty Pleasure (Dunne Bulls) threw everything at him.
Paton finds himself positioned just outside the Top-10 in the Standings following his 39-point haul.
Sonny Schafferius put together his first qualified ride since returning to PBR competition earlier this season to finish in fourth place. The 31-year-old Dysart cowboy rode Rockin On (BK Bucking Bulls) for 80 points.
Completing the rundown was Rockhampton young-gun Josh Cavanagh who rode Moves Like Jagger (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 76 points.
The leaders in the race for the 2020 PBR Australian National Championship Lachlan Richardson and Aaron Kleier were both down early, so the situation following Event 1 remained unchanged.
Jersey Joe was once again outstanding for BK Bucking Bulls in his second trip of the day, bettering his bull score from Event 1 and posting 44.5 points. This time the marking came with Jay Borghero aboard for just 2.2 seconds.
Big Buck Hunter (ST Bucking Bulls) was the next best with a 44-point bull score in the Championship Round where he bucked off Event 1 winner Jack McArthur in 3.24 seconds.
The 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour rolls up the Bruce Highway with Bundaberg hosting two events next Saturday, 3rd October with events starting at 1 pm and 6 pm at the Showgrounds.