25th PBR: Unleash The Beast
PBR Australia riders were in action on both sides of the Pacific once again with Nathan Burtenshaw, Lachlan Richardson and Fraser Babbington competing at the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast tour event in Fairfax, Virginia.
Nathan Burtenshaw led the trio into the weekend ranked 23rd in the PBR World Standings. His opponent for Round 1 was Humdinger from Dakota Rodeo – Berger/Struve/Heald Pro Bulls. Burtenshaw had some trouble getting set in the chute but eventually got out clean. The bull was into his hand but had too much speed for the 24-year-old. Burtenshaw lost his feet and ended up over the front end at 2.48 seconds. Humdinger received a 43-point Bullscore.
That would be the last we would see of Burtenshaw with the Coonamble, NSW. product ruled out of Championship Sunday with a concussion following his rough Round 1 buck-off.
Entering the weekend in 33rd spot and smack bang in the middle of the PBR’s Top 35 Bubble Race was Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW). Ricochet (Davis Rodeo Ranch/Fogle/Smith) got the better of Richardson in Round 1 with the bull turning back to the left, sending the 24-year-old out the back in 2.11 seconds.
It finished a 0-for-2 weekend for the six-time PBR Finals Qualifier after he was simply overpowered by Bottoms Up (TCB Ranch/K-C Bucking Bulls) in 3.51 seconds. The bull put up another impressive bull score, recording 43.75 points in this matchup.
Competing in Fairfax as an alternate, Kiwi Fraser Babbington was on the hunt for points and a PBR World Finals berth with a tough pair of draws standing in his way. In Round 1, Boom Boom (Davis Rodeo Ranch) maintained his unridden status with a 4.75-second buck off.
Things didn’t get much better in Round 2 when the Gisborne, NZ. cowboy faced an unknown bull from John Peck/Hale & Wallgren Bull Co. named Jailbreaker. The 1.83-second buck off was the tenth-straight time that Babbington had failed to make the whistle. His buck off streak dates back to the Touring Pro event in Blackall, QLD. at the start of this month.
Nathan Burtenshaw slipped to 25th in the World Standings and we will have to see how he recovers during the week, but I would consider him probable for next weekend’s event in Austin, TX.
Lachlan Richardson remains in 33rd spot, 50 points ahead of the 35th ranked Marcus Gloria.
PBR’s Justin Felisko reported that Fraser Babbington intends to remain in the USA for another week before returning to Australia to continue his pursuit of a second Gold Buckle. If he doesn’t gain an alternate spot for the premier series event in Texas, we will see the Kiwi compete at the two-day Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour event in Huntington, West Virginia. Babbington finished the weekend ranked 44th in the world standings.
PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour
The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour hit the Beef Capital on Saturday night with Mackay’s Ryan Storey taking home the buckle.
Storey was the only rider a perfect 2-for-2 on the night with Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW) filling the runner-up spot.
Following this event, Cliff Richardson (Gresford, NSW) sits in 40th spot, 190-points outside the Top-35 in the PBR World Standings.
Heffernan holds down the 41st spot with Aussie No. 1 Aaron Kleier the only other rider ranked inside the Top 50, with his 420 points good enough for 45th in the world.
The PBR Australia Monster Energy tour will be back on Saturday, 6 October 2018 with the Beaudesert Invitational being held on Queensland’s Scenic Rim.
We will have Unleash the Beast Tour and Velocity Tour action on Saturday and Sunday to satisfy our hunger for bull riding over the upcoming weekend.