The 2019 Shepparton Invitational kicks off a string of PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour events in central Victoria over the next three weekends.
In Round 1 tonight, we will see a lot of bulls that are either making their Monster Energy Tour debut or have limited experience. Any advantage that the riders can gain this week by watching and learning should benefit them in the long run with the tour remaining in Victoria and Southern NSW for much of the 2019 season.
Aaron Kleier on Red Man (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls):
This matchup is a rematch from Newcastle last season where Kleier finished on top with 83-points. The 2018 Aussie Champ has covered five of his previous six bulls on home soil, and while Red Man doesn’t necessarily have a regular trip, but he does buck at an even tempo. Kleier should be able to add another qualified ride to his tally here.
Ethan Watts on Snitch (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls):
Riders have covered Snitch in all four of his PBR Australia outs over the past six months. He likes to turn back to the left and enter quite a flat, fast spin but doesn’t seem to have a lot of power. Despite being a right-handed rider, I think this is an excellent chance for a well-rested Watts to gain some confidence back after a disappointing end to the 2018 season.
Lachlan Richardson on Spokane (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls):
Last weekend in Marrabel, fellow right-handed rider Brady Fielder made Spokane look easy for 86-points in the bull’s debut PBR out. I think Richardson showed he is in good enough form at the Marrabel event to get a score on the board here despite the uncertainty about the bulls bucking pattern.
Cody Heffernan on Lost Signal (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls):
Lost Signal is one of the best bulls to draw in this round and Heffernan is one of eight riders who has recorded a qualified ride on him. The pair were 83.25-points at the PBR Global Cup in Sydney. The bull was around to the left and away from Heffernan’s hand that night, but we have also seen Lost Signal turn back to the right. Heffernan has a great chance at covering him again, and the score could be enough to place high or even win the round.
Brady Fielder on Twisted X Hidden Agenda (Kasper Bucking Bulls):
I don’t know much about this bull who will make his PBR debut in Shepparton, but Brady Fielder is red hot, so I think he will probably make the whistle here. He seems very comfortable taking bulls jump-for-jump and trusting his natural reaction. Fielder has ridden seven of his nine bulls at all levels of PBR competition, including the Global Cup USA since he made his debut in Adelaide at the end of 2018.
Troy Wilkinson on YTB (Woodall Rodeo Company):
YTB has given up two qualified rides from his three outs in his short career which began earlier this summer, but this matchup could go either way. The bull will turn back to the right and away from Wilkinson’s hand but he can either make it a snap turn or a more rounded turn. If he turns back sharply as he did in Melbourne, then I think the bull win will the match. If it is the latter, Wilkinson should receive solid numbers.
View the full 2019 Shepparton Invitational daysheet.