By: Kacie Albert
TOWNSVILLE, Queensland – In front of a raucous crowd inside the Townsville Entertainment Centre, Queensland-native Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) made PBR (Professional Bull Riders) history Saturday evening. Concluding his dominant season with a 3-for-5 effort at the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals, Kleier captured the 2020 PBR Australia Championship, becoming the first rider ever to win the national title in three consecutive seasons.
While the 22-year-old entered the season-culminating event atop the national standings, he saw his lead decimated on the opening night of competition as Australian No. 2 Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) led the field of 22 riders with a perfect 2-for-2 performance.
Seven-time PBR World Finals Qualifier Richardson first went the distance aboard Annihilation (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 84.75 points during Round 1. On the heels of his runner-up finish in the opening round, Richardson then dominated Round 2, recording the high-marked ride of the night by covering Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) for 87.75 points.
Kleier, who rode Bad Moon (Dunne Bulls) for 84.25 points in Round 1 before being bested by Mighty Whitey (Peter Wallace) in 5.45 seconds in Round 2, subsequently saw his lead shrink from 56 national points to 29 points as a result of Richardson’s efforts.
However, the fierce battle between the nation’s two titans of the sport came to a heart-breaking conclusion when Richardson wasn’t able to compete on the final night of action for the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals due to a back injury.
Chasing history, Kleier inched closer to his never-before-achieved third consecutive national title when he recorded his second qualified ride of the event in Round 3, riding Seek and Destroy (Dunne Bulls) for 76.75 points. His momentum then continued in Round 4 when he made the requisite 8 aboard Forever Amen (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 84.5 points.
While Kleier’s fourth consecutive appearance at the Australian Grand Finals ended in a buckoff, bested in 2.37 seconds by Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), his third-place finish at the event earned him a critical 87 national points, allowing him to clinch the 2020 PBR Australia Championship, along with collecting a paycheck for $11,700.
Kleier is now the first rider in league history to win the nation’s championship in three consecutive seasons, also riding to the title in 2018 and 2019.
He is also now on the precipice of tying David Kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for most Australian Championships in league history. Kennedy is a four-time PBR Australia Champion, winning the title in 2009-2010, 2012 and 2014.
Despite not competing in the final rounds, Richardson concluded the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals fourth to earn 85 national points and $1,775. He ended the season No. 2 in the national standings, 58 points behind Kleier.
Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland) delivered a near perfect 4-for-5 performance to win the prestigious 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals event title.
On Friday night, Fielder began his second career appearance at the event riding Personal Space (Dunne Bulls) for 79 points in the opening round. He then climbed the event leaderboard when he delivered the second-best score of Round 2, an 83.5-point effort on Cattle King Ray Ban (Dittmann Bucking Bulls).
The 20-year-old was electric inside the Townsville Entertainment Centre as action resumed Saturday evening, winning Round 3 compliments of an 83.75-point trip on Get Ya Freak On (Diamond J Rodeo Co.).
While he was bested in Round 4 by Ranga (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), bucked off in a quick 1.76 seconds, Fielder rebounded in the championship round, winning the final round of PBR Australia competition for the 2020 season via an 86-point ride on Drag Iron (Dunne Bulls).
Fielder’s PBR Australia Grand Finals victory earned him 155 national points and $5,150. He finished 2020 ranked No. 4 in the national standings, climbing two positions after entering the event No. 6.
Jake Curr (Mount Isa, Queensland) was crowned the 2020 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year, outlasting runner-up Jackson Gray (Barcaldine, Queensland).
Marking his career-first appearance at the Grand Finals, Curr finished 8th at the season-culminating event to be propelled to the coveted honor for first-year professionals in the PBR Australia ranks. His Top-10 finish was backed by an 84-point ride on Iron Jacket (Peter Wallace) in Round 1.
Curr left the Townsville Entertainment Centre having earned 16 national points, finishing the season a career-best No. 5 in the national standings.
Gray failed to record a qualified ride at the 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals, ending 2020 No. 9 in the national standings, 191 points behind Curr.
In the bull pen, POA Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) delivered two head-turning outs to be anointed the 2020 PBR Australia Bull of the Grand Finals.
After logging the second-best bull score of the event in Round 2, marked 43.75 points when he bucked off Lachlan Slade (Tamworth, New South Wales) in 4.51 seconds, the powerful bovine athlete posted the top score of the Grand Finals in the championship round.
Matched up with Kurt Shephard (Mareeba, Queensland), POA Fully Locked & Loaded sent the veteran rider to the dirt in 3.97 seconds to earn a commanding 44-point bull score.
The 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals also featured a bull team competition.
With the dominant trio of POA Fully Locked & Loaded, Cattle Kings Boogers Beach and POA Lock n Load (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), Dittmann Bucking Bulls was crowned the champions, posting an average score of 43.2 points.
Fans can relive all the action from the 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals on demand on RidePass at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour
2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals
Townsville Entertainment Centre – Townsville, Queensland
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Event Aggregate-Event Points-Payout)
1. Brady Fielder, 79.75-83.5-83.75-0-86-333-155-$5,150
2. Kurt Shephard, 86-82-82.5-0-0-250.5-125-$3,200
3. Aaron Kleier, 84.25-0-76.75-84.5-0-245.5-87-$11,700
4. Lachlan Richardson, 84.75-87.75-0-0-0-172.5-85-$1,775
5. Lawson Nobbs, 84.5-0-0-83.75-0-168.25-60-$1,175
6. Bailey Woodard, 83.25- 0-81.75-0-0-165-40-$450
7. Cody Heffernan, 0-0-0-85.5-0-85.5-40-$950
8. Jake Curr, 84-0-0-0-0-84-16-$225
9. Lachlan Slade, 83.75-0-0-0-0-83.75-9-$0
10. Kelsey Pavlou, 0-0-82-0-0-82-12-$300
11. Mitchel Paton, 0-0-81.75-0-0-81.75-7-$75
12. Caiden Sandilands, 81.5-0-0-0-0-81.5-2-$0
Jackson Gray, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Brendan Buckholz, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Joseph Down, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Lane Mellers, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Braydon Wellby, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Brody Woodard, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Sonny Schafferius, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Rohan Markham, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Ty Thomson, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
Jay Borghero, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00-0-$0
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