When PBR Australia made the announcement earlier this month that the Monster Energy Tour was returning, nobody was happier than Lachlan Richardson.
“It sucks to be sitting at home”, said the 27-year-old earlier this week.
“I have been watching the PBR events in the United States and trying to stay as involved as possible, but to know we can now get down the road and do what we do is really good news.”
Just as the COVID-19 Pandemic was beginning to hit Australian shores back in March, Richardson was busy putting together a dominant victory at the Ballarat Stampede to move to the top of the 2020 PBR Australian National Standings.
His 2-for-2 performance under the bright lights on a cold and windy night included a phenomenal ride aboard Brandenburg and MJ Bucking Bulls’ The D.O.C. to post a season-high 89.5-point score.
That would be the last time we would see a PBR Australia bull ride with event cancellations and travel restrictions enforced across the country in the days following.
“Nobody knew if the break was going to be two weekends or six months, so I just had to stay reasonably ready for when the tour started back up, and I think that it’s all working out pretty good.”
“I was pretty sore after Ballarat, so I had a month off and rested up, and then I got back in the gym and started practising every couple of weeks, especially when I found out that these events were coming up,” he added.
The Gresford bull rider believes that there are a lot of things that you can do to make yourself better both physically and mentally but says that the key to success is remaining positive, and he incorporates that optimism into his training.
“Physically, I try to stay as fit as possible. I will mix it up between strength and conditioning, and if I am sore, I will do a bit of yoga.”
“Mentally, I do a bit of reading about the world’s top athletes and watch replays of my rides, but I spend most of my time focusing on positive thinking.”
By the time the chute gates crack this weekend at the 2020 Caboolture Invitational, it will have been 203 days since Richardson and his fellow competitors have featured on a PBR Australia daysheet.
“It’s our second job and part of our income, but I really love riding bulls,” he declared.
“That’s why I have still been spending time in the practice pen, I might not be getting paid, but I figure it is getting me ready to get paid.”
No rider earned as much inside of the PBR Australia arena as Richardson in the seven months before the COVID-19 shutdown as he shook off a mid-season slump to finish inside the Top 7 at 11 of his next 14 starts, amassing over $65,000 in prizemoney.
Even more incredible was his run that began at September’s Grafton Invitational.
Richardson recorded 16 qualified rides on the Monster Energy Tour, with 15 of those scores good enough to win the round or take home second-place money.
The seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier believes that being able to bounce back into a rich vein of form will be crucial with the short, but busy schedule leading into the Grand Finals where the 2020 PBR Australian National Champion will be crowned.
“It’s going to be very important to get back to that level. Wins are big, but the consistency is what pays off in the long run.”
“I have probably been on fifteen good bulls since Ballarat, which is not a lot, but I have also been getting tuned up on the drum, so I shouldn’t have lost a step.”
“I’m doing all the hard work, so I just have to keep showing up, keep enjoying myself and make it work on the weekends.”
“I am ready to go,” he assured.
Late last week, Richardson received a boost with Ariat Australia announcing that he would be one of three Monster Energy Tour riders to receive support as we advance through the season.
“It’s great to know that Ariat Australia has my back. To be able to wear a great brand like that, I think it’s pretty cool,” he stated.
After falling just short of a maiden Gold Buckle in 2019, which was his first full season riding in Australia, Richardson resumes with a 27.5-point lead over defending National Champion Aaron Kleier.
“You will get a sore neck from looking back, so I just have to keep looking forward and take it one bull at a time.”
“I feel better than I ever have. I am more focused, more committed and more disciplined than ever.”
“I want to be Number 1. I’m willing to fight to be Number 1 at the end of the season, and I will leave no stone unturned and do whatever it takes.”