Nathan Burtenshaw and Kurt Shephard flew the Australian flag in PBR events over the weekend. Burtenshaw took his place on the Unleash the Beast tour while Shephard made his return to US soil at the Velocity tour level.
Let’s check out how they went in this week’s edition of the Weekend PBR Wrap Up!
PBR’s Unleash the Beast Tour
After finishing outside of the points the opening event of the season, Nathan Burtenshaw headed to Chicago hoping to string some qualified rides together and move back inside the Top 35 on the PBR World Standings Leaderboard.
The 24-year-old was once again the lone Australian competing on the PBR’s Premier Tour.
Seventeen riders made the whistle in the opening round of
His Round 1 draw, Red Dawn from Chad Berger, had the Coonamble talent in the dirt at the 3.53-second mark of the ride. The bull turned back to the left with good kick and power, putting Burtenshaw off to the outside. Red Dawn was marked 42.5-points.
World Number 1 Jess Lockwood stayed hot, winning the round with 88.5 points aboard Show Me Homie from TCB Ranch and K-C Bucking Bulls.
In Round 2, Burtenshaw went up against the undefeated Missouri Golden from Curt Check Bucking Bulls.
The riders were winning the night early which meant Burtenshaw needed a huge score to have a chance at making it back for the Championship Round on one score. It
Rubens Barbosa took the round win with 88.5 points aboard Phenom Genetics’ Arctic Assasin. Eleven riders were a perfect 2-for-2 with Jess Lockwood atop the bunch with 176.5 points in the books.
The fantastic early season battle between Lockwood, Leme and Outlaw
Smooth Operator (Dakota Rodeo/Julie Rosen/Clay Struve/Chad Berger) kicked off his bid for a PBR World Champion Bucking Bull award with a spectacular 46-point performance in his 1.46-second dispatch of Rubens Barbosa. He took home the high marked out of the night.
Cooper Davis moved to the top of the leaderboard as the first man to ride 3 bulls. He dominated the rarely-ridden Speed Demon for 90.5 points.
Outlaw faced off with Big Black (B-C Bucking Bulls/Joe and Nina Webb) and won the battle, taking the lead with his 90.25 points making 264.75 total.
Leme was next to go against Shownuff (Blake Sharp / Henry Wilson). The bull added multiple direction changes after hit the chutes after turning back to the left. The buck off came at 7.6 seconds and the Brazilian challenged. The judges could find no foul and the buck off time stood.
It was down to Lockwood. Rising Sun turned back into Lockwood’s hand and it was over. But would the score be enough? Needing 88 points he got it. The 2017 World Champion put up 90.5-points to make it back-to-back wins and take home the Chicago Invitational championship buckle with 267-points total.
Lockwood extended his lead in the PBR World Standings to just shy of 1000 points. A massive lead after just two events. Chase Outlaw moved into seconds with Jose Vitor Leme now in third. Cooper Davis was the big mover, collecting 300 points to move him into seventh place.
PBR’s Velocity Tour
Atherton’s Kurt Shephard made his return to PBR competition on US soil at the two-day Reno Rumble Velocity Tour event in Nevada.
Twenty-four riders got the job done in Round 1 with scores spread between 88-points and 71-points.
Kurt Shephard covered Wilbur from Julio Moreno and Dallas Schott for 76.5-points to sit 23rd after night 1. The bull started off well and was around to the right with good tempo, but at the mid-point of the ride, he ran off along the chutes. With the early rider success indicating that riders would need three scores to figure in the finish, Shepard declined the re-ride option and kept the score.
The round was taken out by Ruger Piva and Cody Cambell who both put up 88-points.
Shephard drew Ringeye from Mann Creek for the night 2 long round. This bull carried Taylor Toves to third spot on the leaderboard on night 1 with 87.5 points. Ringeye produced another solid out, turning back to the right with good rhythm and tempo. Shephard looked very comfortable riding away from his hand and handled a late direction change by the bull with ease.
The two combined for 86.5 and that was good enough to split second in Round 2 and left Shephard in the seventh spot with 163-points heading into the short round. The placing earnt the 24-year-old 17.5 World Points.
Luis Blanco took the round win after putting up 87 points aboard Howell Rodeo’s Shinedown.
Cody Campbell would lead the field into the final round on 173.0 points.
Shephard would face Julio Moreno and Dallas Schott’s Powerstroke in the ten-rider short round.
The bull turned back away from his hand and Shephard was flawless for the entire 8-seconds. His 85.5 points moved him to the top of the leaderboard with 248.5 points total.
Two of the final three riders made the whistle to move ahead, but the third-place finish was an excellent result for Shephard in his return to the USA. He added a total of 72.5 points to finish the weekend in 27th place on the PBR World Standings Leaderboard.
Idahoan Ruger Piva took home the buckle with a 3-for-3, 257-point performance.
In the second Velocity Tour event of the weekend, it was Daniel Tinsman (Farmland, Indiana) who went a perfect 2-for-2 to take out the Toledo Invitational in Ohio.
PBR’s Touring Pro Division
Full Results are not yet through for the Rainsville Bull Bash Touring Pro event in Alabama.
The PBR’s Unleash the Beast Tour heads into the desert for the Ak-Chin Invitational at Glendale, Arizona. We should see Nathan Burtenshaw in action once again and I will have to check on how Lachlan Richardson’s health is progressing during the week.
Kurt Shephard will head to the mid-week PBR Velocity Tour event in Denver, Colorado. The Denver PBR Chute Out at the National Western Stock Show is a three-day event.
The Velocity Tour will also hold single day events in Columbia, South Carolina and in Portland, Oregan next weekend so there is no shortage of action.
The Touring Pro Division makes its way to Texarkana in Arkansas for the Four States PBR Shootout.