Having tasted success in PBR Canada’s Touring Pro Division during July, Lane Mellers has a craving for more of the same in Australia.
The Mundubbera cowboy recorded his first career PBR event win last month during an impressive run of top-5 finishes which spanned four events on both sides of the Pacific.
“It feels really good [to win],” said Mellers, who was proudly wearing his event champion’s buckle from Czar, Alberta.
“It was a long time coming, and I was starting to think was it ever going to come, but since I finally won an event, I feel like the rest should flow now”.
To complement his win ‘Where the Cowboys Reign’, Mellers used dual entries to add a second-place finish on the night, riding four bulls from four attempts. It was the biggest payday of the 20-year-old’s short career, earning a cheque for over $16,500 which included a bonus for his sweep of the top two positions on the podium.
Mellers said his confidence had been building since his runner-up finish at PBR Australia’s Last Cowboy Standing in June.
“When you do well at an event like Brisbane, one of our highest events, you can go to those smaller events and have some fun.”
“The pressure seems to be off,” he added.
The 2018 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year credits the camaraderie of both the Canadian and Australian riders on this overseas campaign also contributed to his confidence boost.
“Getting [to be] around some of the boys in Canada like Dakota Butter, getting on their bulls, and just tweaking up with them on a few things.”
“To go on to the next event and to ride one, I felt over the moon about it,” Mellers said enthusiastically.
Since stepping foot in the land of the maple leaf in early July, Mellers has increased his PBR riding percentage by over 10%, with that figure now sitting at 35.71%.
With confidence comes consistency and when Mellers returned home to compete in the 2019 Newcastle Invitational, he put together a fifth straight Top-5 performance.
The MJ Bucking Bulls sponsored bull rider is the only competitor to attend all 19 PBR Australia events this season and is just one strong result from entering the Top-10.
On a compact leaderboard where the riders ranked 10th thru 7th are separated by under 100 points, Mellers sits in 11th place and is just 50 points behind the 10th ranked Troy Wilkinson.
Despite finishing the Burnett Heads Touring Pro without a qualified ride, the young-gun knows he is more than capable of achieving the consistency to gain a Top-10 berth and stay there.
“I know I can ride the bulls, it’s just whether I show up on the day, but I’ve been riding the best I have for a while, so I am feeling good,” said Mellers.
“But I don’t want to be just in the Top-10; I want to be right there competing for the gold buckle”.