PBR Australia Returns to Rockhampton for 23rd Time in League History with Fan-Attended, Monster Energy Tour Double-Header Event on Oct. 17
By: Kacie Albert Monday, October 12, 2020 @ 8:52 AM
- Tickets for the 2020 PBR Rockhampton Invitational on-sale now.
ROCKHAMPTON, Queensland – For the 23rd time in league history, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia will travel to Rockhampton, Queensland, bucking into Great Western Hotel for the double-header PBR Rockhampton Invitational, part of the nation’s elite Monster Energy Tour, on Saturday, October 17.
The Monster Energy Tour regularly features Australia’s best bull riders squaring off against the rankest bucking bulls from across the nation. Fans will witness exhilarating 8-second rides and wrecks throughout the action-packed event as the PBR’s courageous bull-riding athletes face off against their 800 kilogram opponents bred to buck.
The 2020 PBR Rockhampton Invitational will abide by a series of health standards and protocols created in consultation with the Rockhampton Regional Council, and guided by the Queensland state government industry framework for safe events during COVID-19 (coronavirus), including:
- PBR will only sell up to 50% of arena capacity to separate fans, increase distancing amongst patrons and minimize fan crossover when entering and exiting.
- All PBR riders, staff and contractors will be required to download the COVIDsafe app, and be subject to CDC-informed screenings.
- Social distancing throughout the event, with all riders, stock contractors and staff maintaining 1.5 meter distance, except when crucial to the safe performance of bull riding.
- Social-distancing floor clings and barriers placed in high-traffic areas to prevent gatherings
- Increased sanitization of high-contact areas throughout the event.
- Emphasis on digital tickets, and options for cashless concessions and merchandise sales.
As one of the longest tenured events in PBR Australia history, the league debuted in Rockhampton in 2006 holding six tour stops in the Queensland city that season. Heath Shrimp (Thane, Queensland) was victorious at the inaugural Rockhampton Invitational, with the subsequent 2006 events won by Wayne Brokenbrough (Gympie, Queensland), Ryan Storey (Mackay, Queensland), Steven Clark (Mineral Wells, Texas), Ben Jones (Goulburn, New South Wales) and Denny Farley (Kempsey, New South Wales).
Most recently, PBR Australia’s Monster Energy Tour visited the Queensland city at the start of the new 2020 season for the Great Wester New Year’s Eve PBR. Backed by a 86.5-point, Round 1-winning ride aboard Suga Boom Boom (BK Bucking Bulls), Lawson Nobbs (Moura, Queensland) captured the victory.
The victory marked Nobbs’ second consecutive win in the city. In 2019 the Queensland cowboy won his first-ever PBR Australia event in Rockhampton after riding Watch This (Fred Kleier) for 86.5 points and Volatile (Maynes Bucking Bulls) for 87.5 points.
Following the victory, the 23-year-old traveled to the United States and then returned home at the onset of the pandemic. Nobbs is now ranked No. 20 in the national standings, 254 points behind No. 1 Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) as he seeks his second qualification to the PBR Australia Grand Finals on Nov. 20-21 in Townsville, Queensland.
Other past Rockhampton event winners include currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 riders in the PBR Australia national standings – Richardson and two-time and reigning PBR Australia Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland).
Seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Richardson topped the Rockhampton event leaderboard in 2016, while Kleier won during his rookie season in 2017.
In the present standings, Richardson and Kleier are locked in a fierce battle atop the national standings, with Richardson a slim 44 points ahead of No. 2 Kleier who is attempting to become the first rider in league history to win three consecutive PBR Australia championships.
Richardson’s season has been highlighted by two event wins, logged in Ballarat and Ballarat, along with three additional Top-10 efforts on home soil, finishing runner-up in Caboolture, Queensland, third in Melbourne, Victoria, and sixth in Marrabel, South Australia.
Kleier captured his first PBR Australia victory of the season at the most recent event held in Bundaberg, Queensland, complimenting the four Top-5 finishes he logged earlier in the season.
Other past Rockhampton event winners include: Ben Keliher (2007 – Denton, Texas), Budd Williamson (2007 – Ayr, Queensland), Jones (2007), Ben Seeds (2008 – Dingo, Queensland), Cody Heffernan (2008 – Singleton, New South Wales), Kevin “Jock” Connolly (2009 – Charters Towers, Queensland), David Kennedy (2009 – Kyogle, New South Wales), Roy Dunn (2015 – Proserpine, Queensland), Fraser Babbington (2015 – Gisbourne, New Zealnd), Bailey Woodard (2017 – Dingo, Queensland), Jason Mara (2018 – Cloncurry, Queensland) and Storey (2018).
The forthcoming double-header event in Rockhampton will mark the 12th and 13th events, respectively, of the 2020 PBR Australia season.
After holding the first event of the season in Tamworth, New South Wales, where American rider Brady Sims (Holt, Missouri) rode supreme, the tour most recently visited Ballarat, Victoria prior to the shutdown in March. Seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Richardson continued his dominant season and won the event as the only rider to go a perfect 2-for-2, capping his flawless effort with an event-high, 89.5-point effort aboard The D.O.C..
Prior to travelling to Rockhampton, PBR Australia’s Monster Energy Tour will also hold double-headers in Caboolture, Queensland on Sept. 26, Bundaberg, Queensland on Oct. 3, and Mackay, Queensland on Oct. 10.
The bull riding action begins at 1:00 p.m. AEST and 6:00 p.m. AEST on Saturday, October 17 at Great Western Hotel. For both events, all riders will attempt one bull each in Round 1. The Top 8 will then advance to the championship round for one more out and a chance at the event title. In addition to competing for points towards the Australian national standings, riders will also vie for crucial points towards the World Finals.
Tickets for the PBR Rockhampton Invitational are on sale now for $48, standard fees may apply, and can be purchased at https://tix.pbraustralia.com.au/events/.
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.