Some quick PBR Global Cup news to kick things off.
Kurt Shepard was named as the replacement for Nathan Burtenshaw, who suffered a broken collarbone a fortnight ago. Brady Fielder will now be the alternate rider for Team Australia in the PBR Global Cup event at AT&T Stadium next weekend.
Unleash the Beast Tour – Express Ranches Invitational
Gresford’s Lachlan Richardson made his return to the premier tour from injury while Singleton’s Cody Heffernan was looking to take full advantage of an alternate spot.
Cody Heffernan was out in Section 2 against Modified Hou, but the ride ended before the whistle. Heffernan found himself out of position early and needed to brace himself forward to save himself going over the front for a touch at 3.58-seconds.
Lachlan Richardson made his return to the premier tour from injury and took on Concealed Carry in Section 4. The bull won the battle in 2.29-seconds after Richardson was caught behind as the Concealed Carry left the chutes and failed to recover.
Concealed Carry posted 89.2 points to win the ABBI Oklahoma City Classic.
It was a tough opening round for the best bull riders in the world with the pen of young ABBI Classic bulls allowing just six qualified rides in Round 1.
Underperforming bovine opponents saw both Lachlan Richardson (76-points) and Cody Heffernan (70 points) receive re-ride options in the night two long round. With over half the draw still to ride both riders accepted the opportunity.
Richardson faced Show Me Homie from TCB Ranch and K-C Bucking Bulls. The bull turned back away from his hand, and he looked to have a good seat but got jerked down, and the matchup ended at 5.39 seconds.
I Always Stand from Dakota Rodeo – Berger, Struve and H&C Bucking Bull was Heffernan‘s re-ride bull. The buck off came early in the ride after Heffernan was set up by the bull and the touch came at 2.45 seconds.
Just 12 riders had a score on the board after the two nights of competition, so we saw a shortened Championship Round of a dozen riders. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.
Ryan Dirteater made it back-to-back wins in OKC, sealing the deal with 91-points on Big Black in the short-go to finish a perfect 3-for-3. Luciano de Castro was the only other rider to stay aboard all his bulls in the event.
15/15 Bucking Battle
Cody Jesus won the bonus round with a massive 91.50 point ride aboard Cochise. Jose Vitor Leme was the only other rider to post a score, combining with Frequent Flyer with 90-points.
Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour – Knoxville Invitational
Six Aussies lined up in Tenessee for their final event before the PBR Global Cup. Team Australia coach Troy Dunn was also on the back of the chutes.
Cliff Richardson got a bit too far back from his rope and slid off the outside with Bring The Bling winning in 5.54 seconds.
Aaron Kleier received a re-ride after Magnum didn’t have his best day. The pair were marked 64.5 points by the judges.
Justin Paton got left behind as the bull cleared the gate and Fat Boy tossed him out the back at 3.13 seconds.
Kurt Shephard rode One Boot, who turned out to be a little spinner and turned back away from Shephard’s hand. His 84.5-points was enough to split 8th in the long round.
Aaron Kleier faced Rebel Call as his re-ride bull. The bull was into Kleier’s hand but then things got a little wild as the bull run off and he couldn’t stay up on his rope. The buck off came at 6.72 seconds.
Brady Fielder joined Shephard in eighth place with 84.5 points of his own aboard Big John. Made him look easy with a nice ride away from his hand.
Jason Mara wound up finishing the round in third after a brilliant ride aboard Blood Money for 87.5 points. The bull turned back sharply to the right and put everything he had into bucking off Mara, but the Aussie stuck and got the score.
Brady Fielder took Moe to 7.34 seconds. The bull hop-stepped out and turns back to the left eventually getting the better of the 19-year-old. Nice debut!
Excessive Force took a long time to turn back to the left but added some belly rolls into his trip. Kurt Shephard was out the back at 7.26 seconds after getting back off his rope.
Jason Mara gave Hart Breaker everything he had for a 6.44-second buck off. The big bull showed his athleticism with some massive leaps in the air, eventually overpowering Mara.
The bulls went 10-for-10 in the Championship Round, so the placings stood.
Jason Mara finished in third behind event winner Dylan Smith, who recorded an 89-point ride in the long round. Kurt Shephard and Brady Fielder split eighth thru tenth.
Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour – Grand Rapids Classic
Scottie Knapp took out the Michigan event with a 2-for-2, 170.5-point effort to hold off the Brazilian pair of Caic Carvalho and Ueberson Duarte who were also perfect on the night,
It has been a long wait since June, but Team Australia finally gets their chance to avenge their narrow loss at the PBR Global Cup in Sydney. This edition will be held inside Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning Australian time.
The Edinburg Invitational Velocity Tour event is also set down for decision in the deep south of Texas, but I imagine all eyes will be on Arlington.