Just seven events remain in the 2019 PBR Australia Season before we head to Townsville for the Monster Energy Grand Finals on November 15-16.
As promised after I produced the first third stats article following the Traralgon Invitational, here is an update on the statistics leading into the final stretch.
We have added a further 349 outs through the middle part of the season to bring the total to 688 outs across 39 rounds of competition. There have been a further 45 re-rides or re-bulls recorded (6.14%).
Riders have competed in nine events at the Monster Energy Tour level with championship points awarded in 22 of the 23 rounds conducted. Championship points were not available in the Bonus Round of the inaugural PBR Origin in Sydney.
The remaining eight events were at the Touring Pro Division level and featured sixteen rounds of competition.
The overall riding percentage for the field has dropped considerably after the bulls kept the cowboys to under 30% at four of the last nine events.
After riding at 34.32% through the first third of the season, the 2019 qualified ride rate now sits at 31.83% (219-for-688). Even with the reduction, this riding percentage remains about one qualified ride per event higher than the 2018 season where riders covered 30.21% at the PBR Australia regular season events.
The highest riding percentage so far in 2019 remains with the Traralgon Invitational at 56.76%. Since the start of April, the opening night of the Sydney Show Touring Pro was the most successful event for the cowboys at 42.30% and the Rockhampton Touring Pro the next best at 33.33%.
The Julia Creek Touring Pro goes in the books as the worst event for riders with just 21.05% of the bulls covered (8-for-38).
At the three June Cup events, the riders produced a qualified ride percentage of 28.41%. PBR Origin was the lowest at an even 25%, Last Cowboy Standing 28.85% and the Cairns Invitational 31.37%. I will dive more into these figures later when I cover the statistics for our bovine athletes.
Nathan Burtenshaw and Jay Borghero share the highest marked rides of the season after they both put up 89.50 point rides during June. Burtenshaw’s score came aboard Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ POA Ray Ban in Round 2 at PBR Origin while Borghero won Round 2 on night one at Mount Isa aboard Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Annihilation.
Also during June, Aaron Kleier put up a pair of 89 point efforts aboard Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Freckles Brown in Cairns and Dunne Bulls’ Drag Iron in Mount Isa.
Cody Heffernan recorded two scores of 88.5 points earlier this season at Ballarat and Yass. He combined with Mr Buckmore from Throsby and Russell Bucking Bulls and Ransom 2 from John Gill & Sons to achieve the mark.
Joining Heffernan with an 88.5 point mark were Lachlan Slade and Kurt Shephard who both recorded the score at Last Cowboy Standing in Brisbane. Slade rode Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Super Natural to win the opening round while Shephard covered Lock n Load from Dittmann Bucking Bulls to win Round 2.
Aaron Kleier has topped the judges’ go-round sheets the most so far this year with seven round wins to his name. Cody Heffernan is just behind with six while Cliff Richardson, Kurt Shephard and Rubens Barbosa sit tied on four round wins.
Despite currently sitting third in the standings, Brady Fielder has just one round win which came on night 2 of the Sydney Show touring Pro which indicates his consistency this year has been outstanding.
In June, Aaron Kleier (5) and Kurt Shephard (4) took out nine of the thirteen rounds contested.
Three riders have won multiple stops so far in the 2019 season. Cody Heffernan leads the way with four buckles, closely followed by Aaron Kleier and Brady Fielder who have three wins each.
The top-4 cowboys on the PBR Australian National Standings leaderboard are all riding at an incredible 60% or higher.
Kurt Shephard leads the way with 68.75% and sits fourth in the standings despite riding at just six events this season.
Third-placed Brady Fielder looks to have an almost unassailable lead in the 2019 Rookie of the Year race thanks to his 65.52% success rate.
2016 PBR Australian National Champion Cody Heffernan has improved his riding percentage through the mid-part of the season, climbing from 57.14% to an even 60%.
The reigning PBR Australian National Champion Aaron Kleier and current ratings No. 1 is riding at 64.17%. Kleier has missed just one event so far this season and has been on more bulls than any other rider with 34 bovines attempted.
Kleier’s attendance rate only bettered by one rider, 2018 Rookie of the Year Lane Mellers, who has competed in all 17 events.
Cody Heffernan and Rubens Barbosa are tied at the top of the average ride score statistic for the top-10 riders in the standings. Both riders have averaged 85.08 points per ride with Heffernan’s average coming from twelve qualified trips and Barbosa’s from six successes.
Kurt Shephard sits third in this category with an average score of 84.82 points. Aaron Kleier sits just behind on 84.59 points while Cliff Richardson is next in line on 83.63 points.
Overall it is Lawson Nobbs out in front with his three qualified rides averaging out at 86.17 points with Nathan Burtenshaw averaging 85.67 points at the whistle from his three rides.
Current No. 1 ranked Aaron Kleier also heads the Prizemoney column with $37,588.00 won from sixteen events while Kurt Shephard has accumulated $27,339.81 from his six events. Brady Fielder has won just shy of $25,000 with Cody Heffernan and Mitch Paton both over the $18,000 mark.
Bull and Contractor Stats
The bulls kicked off the season averaging a bull score of 41.26, but that has now climbed to 41.55 points. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the bovine athletes averaged 41.35 points and 41.37 points respectively.
During the June Cup Series, it appears we witnessed the most potent bullpen assembled for a string of events since the Townsville Iron Cowboy, Townsville 15/15 Bucking Battle and Newcastle Invitational run in 2016.
At PBR Origin, Last Cowboy Standing and the Cairns Invitational, the bulls averaged an incredible 42.27 point bull score and as I mentioned earlier, allowed just 44 rides from 155 outs (28.41%)
The bulls have had 43 trips marked 44 points or higher so far in the 2019 season.
Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ POA Fully Locked & Loaded leads the way with four scores judged 44 points or better from five outs. Penmate POA Palooka has three trips 44 or over to his name, as does Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls’ Call Me Joe.
Multiple bulls have two outs at 44 or higher, but a special mention goes to Black Tuxedo from Wallace Bucking Bulls who also leads PBR Australia’s Rookie Bull Standings.
Dittmann’s POA Fully Locked & Loaded is also the front runner in the Bucking Bull of the Year race with an average bull score of 44.30 points.
King Kong from Kleier Bucking Bulls sits just behind on 44.25 points from two out while his penmate Barn Yard is tied on 44 points for third with Brandenburg Bucking Bulls’ Take The Gamble. Dittmann’s POA Palooka rounds out the top-5 with his five trips averaging out at 43.90 points.
Call Me Joe, Hot Dots, Lost Signal, Mr Buckmore and Train Wreck from Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls, Down Under from John Gill & Sons, Sick an Twisted from Dittmann Bucking Bulls and Windy Gate from George Hempenstall have all combined with riders for two round wins this season.
After carrying Kurt Shephard to victory at Last Cowboy Standing, Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls’ Call Me Joe heads the prizemoney won category with his total now sitting at $6,970.52.
Dunne Bulls’ Tough Task is second on the list with Lane Mellers taking home $4,862.29 from his ride in the final round of Last Cowboy Standing.
Filling the remainder of the top-5 spots are Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ High Class Hooker with $2,737.64, Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Super Natural on $2,683.53 and Rock the House from Dunne Bulls and Big Screens Australia on $2,053.23.
After holding a commanding lead in the Stock Contractor of the Year competition, Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls remain the front runners but Dittmann Bucking Bulls has closed the gap considerably over the last month.
Throsby & Russell has five Monster Energy Tour Champion Bull Team wins this season with four High Marked Bucking Bull of the Night awards. Dittmann Bucking Bulls and Wallace Bucking Bulls have both earned two Bull Team buckles.
The Dittmann team produced a clean sweep of the High Marked Bull awards during the June Cup events in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.
In the leadup to August’s Newcastle Invitational, I will take a look into the race for the Gold Buckle and also who is in line for a PBR World Finals berth so stay tuned for that article.