After spending two months away from the competitive arena, Justin Paton (Nebo, QLD) used an 88-point ride to win the Championship Round aboard POA Palooka (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) and take home the title of 2018 PBR Australia Iron Cowboy in Tamworth on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old kicked off his night with a win over Sonny Schafferius in Round 1, courtesy of a qualified ride on Western Ways. The Diamond S Bucking Bulls bucker was around to the right with Paton recording 81-points.
In Round 2, Paton accounted for 2016 PBR Australian Nation Champion Cody Heffernan with an 83.5-point ride aboard Super Natural (Wallace Bucking Bulls). The bull was once again entered a spin to the right, but Paton had a great seat for the entire 8-seconds.
POA Palooka was marked 43.5 for his solid out in the Championship Round. He turned back to the right with good kick and power, but Paton was perfect.
The race for the 2018 PBR Australian National Championship will go down to the wire in Townsville after Cliff Richardson (Gresford, NSW) took out the Iron Cowboy event aggregate. Richardson used a perfect 3-for-3, 259-point performance to close the gap to the current No. 1 Aaron Kleier.
With 3250 points available to a single rider at next weekend’s Grand Finals, the gap now sits at just 775.82 points thanks to Richardson’s 595-point haul.
Richardson started his perfect 3-for-3 night with 85.5 points aboard Ransom 2 (John Gill & Sons) to eliminate Ryan Storey. The 27-year-old then added 86-points aboard Iron Jacket (Wallace Bucking Bulls) to tie for the Round 2 win and progress into the Championship Round.
He faced Mr Buckmore from Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls in the final round and added another 87.5-points to finish on top of the Iron Cowboy aggregate leaderboard.
Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) finished second in the event aggregate with his own perfect night. Kleier opened his account with 84-points on Storm Boy and then became the first to ride Night Hawk in Round 2 for 84.5 points.
The 20-year-old rode Rock the House (Dunne Bulls/BSA) in the Championship Round for 85.5 points and a total of 254-points. He added a total of 332.5-points towards his standings total and limited the damage heading into Townsville.
Justin Paton finished third in the event aggregate with his 252.5-point total while Brazilian Lucas Divino was the best of the riders who finished 2-for-3.
Divino covered Django (Wallace Bucking Bulls) for the Round 1 win and 86.5-points. He also split the Round 2 win with Richardson following his 86-point ride aboard John Gill & Sons’ Coors Light.
Fraser Babbington finished fifth in the event and was 2-for-2 heading into the Championship Round, but he was unable to continue after a rough get off in the Second Round. Babbington was later diagnosed with a punctured lung.
The 2018 PBR Australia Season culminates this coming Friday and Saturday night (22-23 November) with the Grand Finals in Townsville, Queensland. If you can’t be there, make sure you tune into Ridepass to watch all of the action Live!