By: Kacie Albert
TOWNSVILLE, Queensland – Ahead of the 2021 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia Origin event in July, the league has announced that three-time, and reigning, PBR Australia Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) and 2017 PBR Australia Champion Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, New South Wales) will captain Team Queensland and Team New South Wales, respectively.
PBR Australia held its first Origin event in 2019, when Team Queensland (682.5 points) defeated Team New South Wales (428.5 points) inside Sydney’s ICC Theatre. Now a three-event series of tour stops, the PBR Origin is modeled after the State of Origin Rugby League event that is considered Australian sport’s greatest rivalry.
Through a trio of events held July 3 in Newcastle, New South Wales, July 10 in Brisbane, Queensland, and July 17 in Cairns, Queensland, Team Queensland and Team New South Wales will go head-to-head to determine which state is the supreme bull riding powerhouse.
“I am looking forward to riding as a team with the Queensland boys; however with bull riding being such an individual sport, it’s good to get the chance to ride together as a team,” Team Queensland Captain Kleier said. “It just has an exciting and different feel to any other event, and I can’t wait to ride with all the Queensland boys.”
“It is a great privilege to be named Captain of NSW: it is where I am from, it is who I am, we are a tough and resilient state in all aspects,” Team New South Wales Captain Wilkinson said. “We will be a force to be reckoned with, no doubt about it.”
Kleier was an integral member of the victorious Team Queensland for the inaugural PBR Origin event in 2019. Including his 86-point ride on Rock The House (Dunne Bulls/BSA) in the championship round, the Clermont-native added 167.5 points to the Maroons’ winning total.
The 23-year-old will captain Team Queensland after making history in 2020, becoming the first rider in history to win the PBR Australia Championship in three consecutive seasons.
Locked in a feverish, season-long battle alongside Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) for the title, Kleier’s march to the coveted buckle included four event wins on the nation’s elite Monster Energy Tour. His 2020 campaign was also highlighted by eight additional Top-5 efforts, including a third-place result at the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals
Wilkinson will return to captain Team New South Wales after leading the Blues for the inaugural PBR Origin event in 2019, contributing an 83-point ride aboard Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls).
In 2020, Wilkinson competed at just five events before a dislocated shoulder required surgical repair, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. During the few months he was active, Wilkinson not only represented Team Australia at the 2020 PBR Global Cup USA, but also won the Australian Touring Pro Division event in Marrabel.
Tickets for both the PBR Origin I – Newcastle at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, and PBR Origin II – Brisbane at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketek.com.au or pbraustralia.com.au.
Stay tuned to PBRAustralia.com.au for information on when tickets will be available for PBR Origin III – Cairns at the Cairns Convention Centre when the 2021 PBR Origins Champion will be crowned.
The bull riding action for each stop of the 2021 PBR Origins event will begin at 7:30 p.m. AEST. Each stop will feature three rounds of competition. After each of the 10 competing bull riders for both teams attempt one bull each in Round 1 and Round 2, the Top 4 riders from each team will advance to the bonus round for one final out. The event winner will be the team with the highest combined score in the event aggregate.
All future PBR Australia events are subject to change, planned in accordance with directives issued by relevant government and health authorities given the evolving regulations during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
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