Kelsey Pavlou had an April to remember, and this weekend he will begin his second PBR Australia season planning to make an impact.
The Toora young gun picked up multiple wins in an autumn campaign that saw him compete at events spanning from Victoria to Julia Creek in Outback Queensland.
“I’ve been doing a fair few miles this year,” Pavlou explained.
“But the best weekends I’ve had have been at Roma and at Penrith, where I managed to ride two head at both shows and come away with both event wins.”
At the Roma Xtreme Bull event, the 19-year-old kicked off April in the best possible way with a round winning ride aboard Iron Jacket from Wallace Bucking Bulls for 87.5-points.
Then in the second round of the event, Pavlou covered Gill Brothers Rodeo’s Super Bad for a further 86-points to seal the aggregate event win.
A week later in Penrith, he picked up his second Xtreme Bulls win, which kicked off with an 86-point ride aboard Savage Love from Gill Brothers Rodeo.
But it was his Round 2 ride aboard Gill Brothers Rodeo’s Ferdinand that he believes will give him the most significant boost when the 2021 Monster Energy tour kicks off this weekend in Rockhampton.
“The bull I got on in the second round at Penrith would have to be my biggest standout from this year so far,” said Pavlou.
“I’ve been putting a lot of work into riding bulls away from my hand, and to be 88-points on him was a massive confidence boost.”
Pavlou says that that ride and his success through the first half of the year was proof that all the hard work outside of the competition arena was paying off, and he now sits second in the 2021 Australian Professional Rodeo Association Bull Riding Standings.
“I’ve been making sure to get on bulls every week in the practice pen to keep my body and mind fresh and ready.”
“It’s mainly been the mental side I’ve been working on this year,” he added.
“Just staying positive and believing in myself every weekend.”
Pavlou hopes to build on an encouraging start to his PBR Australia career, which saw him tick off a few goals during his rookie season.
Following the COVID-19 break, Pavlou made his debut on the Monster Energy Tour one to remember, picking up his first event win with victory in Event 2 at the Caboolture Invitational.
That result, along with Top-8 finishes at Bundaberg and Beaudesert, saw him qualify for his first PBR Australia Grand Finals. He finished in tenth place in the aggregate at Townsville and ultimately, in fifteenth place in the end of season National Standings.
“I didn’t go into last season with my expectations too high,” said Pavlou.
“I just wanted to ride my bulls and have fun doing so, but I definitely exceeded my expectations by winning my first event and getting to Townsville at the end of the season.”
With the lessons learnt from his rookie season, Pavlou says he is striving for further improvement in 2021 as he continues to become more comfortable with tour life and the rigours of facing the best bulls in the country each time he heads down the road.
“Ideally, I want to set the bar high this year,” he said.
“A title at the end of the year would be the ultimate goal – So, I don’t want to settle for anything less.”