A big day of action kicks off this morning at 9:00 am when some of the best young bulls in the country will take to the dirt and strut their stuff at the ABBI Australia Kilkivan Futurity. Yearling, Futurity, Ladies Futurity and Derby classes will be contested.
The PBR Australia Touring Pro Division event will begin at 7:00 pm, and I think we will see an exciting event that will come down to the last few rides. With a relatively rider-friendly pen of bulls contracted, we should see a bunch of scores recorded.
So, if you are in the Gympie or South Burnett areas, grab yourself a ticket, and I will see you there!
Here are some of my favourite matchups:
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Round 1 Matchups
Dan Ruhland on 33 Sinner (Maynes Bucking Bulls)
The Mount Walker cowboy has gone 2-from-5 across his last three PBR Australia events, and this looks like a nice draw for him to keep building on that momentum. We saw Sinner make his debut at the K-Ranch event last weekend. Kelsey Pavlou gave us a good look at this bull when he rode him for close to 6-seconds in the opening round. He turned back to the right, and his difficulty came from the speed of the spin. I think the No. 27 ranked Ruhland should get an excellent shot at him riding into his hand and push his claims for a spot in next month’s Grand Finals with a qualified ride.
Lachlan Slade on 621 Rip Slinger (MJ and Keliher Bucking Bulls)
Rip Slinger is one of the better-known bulls in this round. He has been out eighteen times and has allowed five scores in his PBR career. Only two of those scores belong to right-handed riders, but if we look at the average buck-off times, righties tend to stay aboard for an extra 2-seconds. He prefers a right-handed spin, putting him into Slade’s wheelhouse here. The Tamworth talent went 1-from-2 at Quirindi in his first event since the Origin season wrapped up. He sits very close to the Grand Finals qualification bubble in 19th place, but a score he should ease that pressure.
Jake Curr on 811 Tezzas Pride (JD Bucking Bulls)
Curr sits 7th in the National Standings on 9-from-18 riding across the season. The Mount Isa young-gun bucked off both of his bulls at K-Ranch last weekend, and he will be keen to bounce back quickly. Tezzas Pride has a nice run of seven straight buck-offs going before Aaron Kleier snapped it with an 83.5-point ride at Quirindi a month ago. The bull likes to turn back to the left and starts strong, so it’s of little surprise that lefties make the whistle 33.33% of the time, while righties have a success rate of just 9%. These two went at it during the 2021 season in Rockhampton, and the bull came away with a 5.05-second win, but I think the left-hander can get level up and get a score here.
Round 2 Matchups
Will Purcell on 1011 Houston Calling (Ruhland Ranch)
It has been a few slow months for Purcell, who has covered just three of his eleven bulls since the Origin period, but he gets an excellent opportunity to get the cowboys off to a good start in the second round. Houston Calling has been ridden three times from six trips. Despite the bull preferring an anti-clockwise spin, two of those scores belong to right-handed riders. His tempo is pretty nice, and he doesn’t seem to have too many tricks in his repertoire, so most riders will get a good shot at him. Scores average in the low 80s, so a single score might not be enough to push the Merrijig bull rider up the standings from his 14th position, but combined with a Round 1 score, it should put him in a strong spot overall.
Braith Nock on 805 Canadian Club (Maynes Bucking Bulls)
The Bendemeer talent has been ticking along nicely in the past couple of months, riding four of his eight draws. All those scores have come on bulls that have turned back into his hand, and he has drawn another bull that will turn left here. Canadian Club is undefeated in three PBR Australia trips, but we haven’t been able to see much of him, with buck-off times of 2.29, 1.59 and 1.66-seconds recorded. He leaves the chutes in a hurry with lots of forward momentum and a big kick before turning back to the left. If Nock can make it into the spin, I think he has a good chance to improve his No. 8 ranking.
Qynn Andersen on 412 I’m a Thug (MJ and Keliher Bucking Bulls)
I am looking forward to this rematch between two of the best up-and-coming talents in PBR Australia competition. I’m a Thug got the better of Andersen last year during their rookie season at Rockhampton in October, with the bull marked 41-points in the 2.6-second matchup. The Koumala cowboy has gained considerable experience in the past year. The bull has gone on to push his record to 15-and-2. The most recent score went the way of Kurt Shephard at the 2021 Grand Finals for 83.25 points, but there has been nothing but buck-offs in quick time since then (9 at 2.67 seconds). We haven’t seen many top-ranked right-handers attempt this bull, so I am siding with the No. 3 ranked cowboy to get the job done.
Cody Heffernan on 910 On Bail (MJ and Keliher Bucking Bulls)
This is another rematch, but this time the first outing went the way of the cowboy, with Heffernan emerging with 84.5 points at the second Bull Pit event at Bloomsbury this year. Lachlan Richardson then made it back-to-back victories for the cowboys with 83.0 points at Maryborough a few weeks back, and the bull had a very similar trip to what we saw a few weeks earlier. The Singleton veteran has been in good form covering three of his last six bulls across his previous three events and has picked up two round wins. He should start this matchup very short, priced favourite.
Aaron Kleier on 627 Ranga (MJ and Keliher Bucking Bulls)
After picking up his seventh straight PBR Australia event win, you’d be a brave person to bet against Kleier in the final matchup of the event. His riding record over the past four months is 15-from-16, and that includes 7 round winning scores. Ranga is no push over. He has allowed just five qualified rides from almost thirty trips. He had a run of nine straight buck-offs going before Caiden Sandilands won Round 2 at Caboolture in July aboard him with 87-points three outs ago. Buck off times for the lefties who have attempted him average about 1.5 seconds longer than right-handed riders across his career. He prefers to spin to the left, which will be into the Clermont champion’s hand, which should also mean lights out and another step towards a fifth national title.
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