PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour
After an exciting last stop in Mackay, the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour heads down the Bruce Highway to Rockhampton, Queensland. Twenty-three of Australia’s best bull riders will take on a handy pen of bulls over two rounds of competition in the Beef Capital.
Gates at Browne Park will open at 5pm with bull’s bucking from 7pm. If you can’t make it to the arena, stay tuned to my Live Updates page as well as Ride the Rage and PBR Australia Social media for coverage of all the action.
Current No. 1 Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) will bookend the night and has drawn well here in Rockhampton. Kleier covered 6 straight bulls before his shut-out in Mackay and I am happy to rule a line through that performance with things not going to plan. In Round 1 he has a rematch with Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ Cloud Jumper. The bull has been covered 5 of his last 8 outs with 2 round wins. The 19-year-old holds a 2-0 record over the bull with scores of 89.0 and 86.0-points recorded. In Round 2 he will face King Kong from the Fred Kleier pen. The bull regularly produces strong outs and I think these two can combine for big numbers here.
Kurt Shephard (Atherton, QLD) looked good in his return to PBR competition following four months off in Mackay. In Round 1, Shephard comes up against a rider favourite from Wallace Bucking Bulls called Iron Jacket. This bull has given up four rides from his seven career PBR outs and I think Shephard will be good enough to make the whistle. His Round 2 draw is Road Rage from Fred Kleier. This is a rematch from the last event in Mackay where the 24-year-old was awarded 83.5 points and we should see a similar result here.
Another rider that I think has drawn well is Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW). The 2016 PBR Australia Champion comes off a solid performance in Mackay and will face Jackie Who (Dunne Bucking Bulls) in Round 1. This bull carried Ryan Storey to the Round 1 win with 86.5-points in Mackay last weekend and this bull should fit Heffernan well. In Round 2 Heffernan will face POA Fully Locked & Loaded. This bull always puts up big numbers and doesn’t give away qualified rides often but if they make the whistle, the 28-year-old will most likely find himself at the top of the leaderboard.
You can view my in-depth match-up previews in ‘The Morning Line’ which will be available on PBR Australia’s website from early Saturday Morning.
The 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast Series
The world’s best bull riders remain on the east coast for two days of action in Fairfax, Virginia this weekend. We are back down to two Australian’s on the PBR’s Premier Tour with Cliff Richardson returning home. However, we do have a Kiwi joining the tour this weekend. The event starts on Sunday at 9am AEST and will be Live on Ridepass. Championship Sunday will be a 4 am a start for Aussie East Coast fans.
World No. 23 Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW) has drawn a nice bull from Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls named Humdinger for the opening night. This bull put together some nice outs over the Summer break, averaging 42.5-points and going 5-for-6. The only ride given up was to Matt Triplett in Big Sky for 86-points. The bull was to the right that day and if he produces a similar trip, I think Burtenshaw can get himself onto the leaderboard.
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) goes into the weekend ranked No. 33 in the PBR World Standings. Another good weekend from the 24-year-old will go a long way to securing his spot in Las Vegas. His Round 1 draw is Ricochet from Davis Rodeo Ranch/Fogle/Smith. This bull has only been out twice at PBR level, recording buck-offs on both days of the Archdale, NC. Touring Pro event. Both buck-off times were below 3 seconds and there was quite a difference in bull scores, so we will have to wait and see.
Picking up one of the four alternate spots in the draw is Fraser Babbington. Babbington sits 42nd in the PBR World Standings but has bucked off his last eight bulls. The 31-year-old has drawn Boom Boom from Davis Rodeo. This bull has only been out twice at the Archdale, NC. Touring Pro event and won his outs by 1.15 and 1.65 seconds. The bull scores were 43.0 and 40.0 so the bull must turn back fast. No vision is available so the 2015 Australian National Champion will have to take it to jump for jump.
Round 2 draws will be available later in the weekend, so I will provide updates via Social Media.