The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Australia leaves the big city lights behind for two nights of bull riding action in Queensland’s Gulf Country. The annual Mount Isa PBR Touring Pro event set to take place this Friday and Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at Buchanan Park.
Despite several riders opting to take a break from competition following a string of Monster Energy Tour and Global Cup events to kick off June, the event has attracted the country’s best bull riders including current Australian Standings leader Aaron Kleier and current PBR World number 26 Nathan Burtenshaw.
Aaron Kleier heads into the Mount Isa PBR Touring Pro event holding a slender lead of just 287.49 points over New Zealand’s Fraser Babbington on the National Standings leaderboard. Cliff Richardson sits a further 433.33 points back in third spot following his clean sweep in Brisbane last weekend with Cody Heffernan, Justin Paton and Jason Mara rounding out the Top 6 in the race to become the 2018 PBR Australia National Champion.
With Babbington and Heffernan not competing in the Mount Isa PBR Touring Pro, 20-year-old Aaron Kleier will be hoping to get his season back on track after recording just 2 qualified rides from his last 10 bulls. The Clermont, QLD cowboy has drawn Tick Tock (George Ayres) in Round 1 and we have seen this bull ridden in his last three outs. I think this bull can get Kleier’s weekend off to a good start.
View the Round 1 Daysheet HERE
Cliff Richardson confirmed his status as the hottest bull rider in the country last weekend with a dominant 3-for-3 performance in Brisbane, QLD to be crowned the fourth PBR Australia Last Cowboy Standing. I haven’t been able to find any vision of the 27-year-old’s Round 1 draw Beatbox (Troy Chappel), however, it’s hard to tip against a rider who in such great form.
Nathan Burtenshaw is currently the best-placed Australian on the PBR World Standings Leaderboard and has ridden 7 of his 9 bulls on Australia soil this winter to move to 10th in the Australian National Standings. Burtenshaw finished 3rd in this event last year and has drawn Different Strokes from Brandenburg Bucking in Round 1. We last saw this bull in Cairns a few weeks ago and it will take a gritty effort if the Coonamble, NSW cowboy is to make the whistle.
Back in 2016, Lachlan Richardson took out the Mount Isa PBR Touring Pro event with a sensational ride on the Brandenburg bucker Troubles Soul. The 25-year-old has drawn Aussie Gangsta from Wallace Bucking Bulls in Round 1 and I think it could be enough bull to put Richardson in a good spot heading into Saturday night. The bull is unridden in three career PBR Australia outs, but good riders get a long way in the 8 seconds.
It is always a hard task to pick a winner of an event such as the Mount Isa PBR Touring Pro with only limited information available, but I will go with Aaron Kleier to bounce back and record a good result. A qualified ride in Round 1 to kick off the weekend should put him in a solid spot to take advantage of Babbington and Heffernan’s absence and increase his lead in the Australian National Standings.
I am hoping to update this post with the Round 1 results and a few Round 2 matchups if the information makes it through before Saturday night. If not, I will have a quick wrap-up of the Mount Isa Touring Pro event early next week.