PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour
Another big weekend of PBR action kicks off with the PBR Australia Monster Energy Beaudesert Invitational on Saturday night. Twenty-seven of Australia’s best bull riders will head to Queensland’s Scenic Rim to face a pen of bulls that is quite different from the pens they faced at the recent events in Central Queensland. The unfamiliarity should make for an entertaining and relatively unpredictable night.
The current PBR Australia No. 1 ranked bull rider Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) has managed to maintain his lead over the field throughout the last month of competition.
This is despite only covering one of his last four bulls. The 20-year-old is out in front with 4318.32 points accumulated this season.
Cliff Richardson (Gresford, NSW) sits in second, 658 points adrift of Kleier with Fraser Babbington (Gisborne, NZ) a further 49.17 points behind in third place.
Both Richardson and Babbington have recently spent time competing in the USA and need to start stringing some rides together on home soil. They can not afford to let Kleier extend his lead as we edge closer to Townsville where we will crown the 2018 PBR Australian National Champion.
Kurt Shephard (Atherton, QLD) has also moved up the leaderboard and into 20th spot with two top-5 finishes since returning to injury.
Time is running out for riders to secure their spot at the November’s Grand Finals with only three regular-season events remaining. With only the Top-22 assured of a spot in Townsville, the twelve riders competing in the Monster Energy Beaudesert Invitational that are ranked outside the cut line are running out of time to improve their position on the PBR Australian National Standings leaderboard.
There is a maximum of 550 possible points available at the Monster Energy Beaudesert Invitational with the winner of the event aggregate receiving 350 points. Each of the round winners will each receive 100 points.
All 27 riders will compete in Round 1 with the Top-7 scores advancing to the Championship Round.
I will have live coverage of all the action from the Beaudesert Showgrounds on my Live Updates page starting from 11 am with the ABBI Australia Futurity and continuing with the Monster Energy Beaudesert Invitational and Rising Stars bull ride from 7 pm.
This weekend’s edition of The Morning Line will feature all the matchups to watch and it will be available on the PBR Australia website on Saturday Morning.
The 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast Tour
The PBR’s premier tour is also onto its third last stop before PBR Finals Week as it heads to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a two-day event.
Round 1 kicks off on RidePass at 10:45 am AEST on Sunday with Championship Sunday a Listen Live event from 5:45 am AEST on Monday.
Two Australian riders are currently ranked inside the Top 35 and look well placed to earn a spot at the PBR World Finals. Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW) and Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) come into the weekend tied on 907.5 points and in 26th on the PBR World Standing’s leaderboard.
Current World No. 35 Marcos Gloria has earned 700 points this season so there is a nice buffer between the Australian pair and the cut line.
The pressure isn’t quite off yet with a couple of ex-World Champions (Silvano Alves and JB Mauney) caught up in the bubble race. All riders will be looking to improve their position so Burtenshaw and Richardson will still need to put a couple of rides together over the next month to ensure they make it to Vegas.
After his 2-for-3 weekend in Texas last weekend, Richardson has drawn a bull that should really suit him. Roll of the Dice (Halpin & Roth) has been ridden 9 times from 11 outs on the PBR’s premier tour. They are usually mid to high 80’s on this bull and he usually stays in tight to the chutes and will be into Richardson’s hand. The Aussie will start the matchup as a firm favourite.
Burtenshaw will face Shootin’ Stars (Beutler/Vickers) in Round 1. We saw Guilherme Marchi ride this bull for 87-points last weekend in Austin. The bull has a string of buck offs prior to that matchup with the only other qualified ride coming from Sage Kimzey at the 2017 NFR for 89-points. This is a matchup that could go either way but I am leaning slightly towards Burtenshaw.
Round 2 matchups will be available on Sunday evening and I will update this post.
PBR Minor Leagues
There are no Australians in the draw for the Sean Willingham Invitational Touring Pro Division event taking place on Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Real Time Pain Relief takes a week off but will be back next weekend in Rapid City, South Dakota.