PBR Unleash the Beast Tour
After back-to-back PBR events in the north of the USA, the premier tour heads into the desert for some warmer weather and the Ak-Chin Invitational Presented By Cooper Tires in Glendale, Arizona.
Last season, Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW) broke through for his maiden podium finish on the Unleash the Beast tour inside Gila River Arena, ending up third thanks to a perfect 3-for-3 performance.
Burtenshaw will once again be the only Australia rider competing at the Unleash the Beast tour level with Lachlan Richardson still a couple of weeks away from making his return to the PBR from injury.
Eduardo Aparecido will go into the event as the defending event champion.
The event format will feature two long rounds and a short go so check back on Saturday evening for updates. The second PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season will also be run following Round 1.
PBR Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour
It looks as though it will be an Aussie Invasion on the Velocity Tour this weekend with Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) and Justin Paton (Nebo, QLD) joining Kurt Shephard (Atherton, QLD) in Portland, Oregon.
Kurt Shephard heads to the Portland Classic in excellent form, covering four of his five bulls since returning to the United States last week. He will be hoping to keep the momentum going off the back of the midweek Denver PBR Chute Out.
Aaron Kleier will compete in his first PBR event on US soil in what should be a good tune-up for the upcoming PBR Global Cup. The 20-year-old backed up his 2018 PBR Australia Gold Buckle with a win in Adelaide back in early December.
Fellow Team Australia rider Justin Paton will make his 2019 PBR debut at Portland Classic. The 26-year old will compete in his first Velocity Tour event since the 2017 season.
Other PBR Events
The Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour also heads to Columbia, South Carolina for a single day event. No Australian’s have entered this event.
|20-Jan 10:00 am||VT – Carolina Classic||Round 1 + Champ Round||No Coverage|
|20-Jan 12:45 pm||UTB – Ak-Chin Invitational||Round 1||RidePass|
|Following Round 1||UTB – Ak-Chin Invitational||15/15 Bucking Battle||No Coverage|
|20-Jan 1:00 pm||VT – Portland Classic||Round 1 + Champ Round||RidePass|
|21-Jan 6:45 am||UTB – Ak-Chin Invitational||Round 2 + Champ Round||RidePass|
Ak-Chin Invitational Round 1 Preview
Burtenshaw will face the well known Crazy Horse (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Machinery Auctioneers) on the opening night. Right-handed riders have an almost 50% success rate.
From the left-handed delivery, Crazy Horse turns back to the left and has a whippy motion to his spin. There isn’t too much up and down in his action, so Burtenshaw will have to work to stay out over the front end to resist being flung out the back.
Portland Classic Round 1 Preview
Kleier will be first to ride of the Aussie trio, and he has a matchup with Amped Up from Corey & Lange Pro Rodeo.
This bull has had four PCRA outs for two qualified rides, and I managed to track down an 84-point effort by Thor Hoefer in August last year. Out of the Right delivery, the bull was around to the left with pretty good timing. He did throw a small hesitation into the out but nothing that should worry Kleier.
Shephard will be out in Section 3 against Mobster from Big Bend and Flying Five Rodeo Companies. Information on Mobster has been hard to find, but I think I think I have tracked down the bull.
There was a Mobster who bucked out for Kelly Bowcutt at this event last year with Wyatt Covington aboard for 83-points. The bull was very fast and flat around to the right and didn’t cover much ground. As long as Shephard can stay in the middle, he should be there at the whistle.
Paton will be last to go in Section 4, taking on Get Ugly from Humpz and Hornz and Sis ‘N’ Stan Bucking Bulls.
We didn’t see this bull out in the 2018 calendar year, so I am not too sure what to expect. In 2017, Get Ugly was covered twice from six performances, but the scores were very low.
Ak-Chin Invitational Round 2
In the night 2 long round, Burtenshaw will go up against In For Life from Hart Cattle Company and Clapp Cattle.
JW has a couple of bulls named In For Life against his name on ProBullStats with each of them being covered once from three outs. One of the In For Life’s was ridden for 83-points by Mason Lowe at a Touring Pro Event last year, and I think that may be the bull we are after. I can’t find any vision of that ride on Social Media, so we will have to take this one jump-for-jump.
I will have updates via Social Media across the Weekend plus, a full Wrap-up of everything PBR on ridetherage.com on Monday afternoon.