This week I will kick things off with some news that Justin Felisko included in his Anaheim Draw Notes on PBR.com late last week regarding Aaron Kleier’s qualification status for the 2019 PBR World Finals.
“The Top 36 riders in the world standings will qualify for the World Finals with No. 18 Aaron Kleier (declined UTB draw spot) ineligible for a Top 35 spot. Kleier, however, is still eligible for the Rookie of the Year title, the PBR’s competition committee ruled on Wednesday.” it was reported.
I hope to find some time over the next week or two to address this ruling and the effect it may have on Australian riders in the future.
2019 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour
Gresford bull rider Cliff Richardson went 2-for-2 at the 2019 Grafton Invitational to claim his second PBR win of the season.
The win moves Richardson up seven spots in the PBR World Standings and into 39th place. He trails No. 36 Jared Parsonage by 70 points.
Aaron Kleier remains the highest-ranked Australian in 19th place with Brady Fielder now on the bubble in the 36th spot. Cody Heffernan has drifted back into 42nd place despite missing a good chunk of the winter events.
2019 PBR Unleash The Beast Tour
Kurt Shephard was the lone Aussie rider competing in Anaheim this week.
The Atherton cowboy made an excellent ride for 85.75 points in Round 1 aboard Lil Bit Crazy from Dakota Rodeo, Chad Berger and Clay Struve. The score left him sharing fifth place after the opening night. The bull turned back to the right and away from his hand and was scored 41.75 points.
In Round 2 his opponent was Uncle Slim from Rodriguez Bucking Bulls. The bull took a long leap to clear the chute and turns back into Shephard’s hand. He entered the spin just a little bit behind and couldn’t recover despite fighting hard until the 7.06-second mark. The bull was marked only 37.75 points.
The single score was enough for the 24-year-old to make it back to the Championship Round in 14th place.
Shephard had the choice between Pennywise and Wicked Stick in the draft, and he chose to take on Chad Berger’s Pennywise for the second time in just a few weeks.
Pennywise turned back away from Shephard’s hand. He was much stronger than he was in their previous matchup. Shephard stuck with him but a slight stall and effort jump the Aussie unseated for the touch at 7.26 seconds. 43.75 points for the bull and another Top-15 finish for Shephard who left California ranked No. 42 in the World.
Brazil’s Jose Vitor Leme moved back into the No. 1 spot after winning all three rounds at Anaheim.
2019 PBR Pendleton Whiskey Velocity Tour
The PBR week began in Window Rock, Arizona on Wednesday where Nathan Burtenshaw took on Lil Willard from Richardson Land & Cattle Company. The bull turned back to the left with the Coonamble cowboy looking very good away from his hand but ultimately came down at 6.82 seconds. Lil Willard was scored 43 points.
Jose Vitor Leme also claimed the buckle in Window Rock.
The second Velocity Tour event of the weekend was in Peoria, Illinois on Saturday with Lachlan Slade featured in the draw. He couldn’t cover Pearl from Mike Miller Bucking Bulls in the long round with the buck off coming at 4.45 seconds. Pearl was marked 42 points.
Brazilian Alex Cardozo won the Peoria event.
2019 PBR Canada Touring Pro Division
We are still waiting for the full results from McGrath to be posted, but it appears as though Lachlan Slade was unable to get the job done aboard Jihad Joe from Flying High Rodeo Company in the long round.