Monstrous 90-Point Ride Propels Three-Time PBR Australia Champion Aaron Kleier to Victory at Season-Launch Event in Rockhampton
By: Kacie Albert Friday, May 7, 2021 @ 10:37 AM
ROCKHAMPTON, Queensland – On the spurs of earning his historic third consecutive PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia National Championship in 2020, Aaron Kleier’s (Clermont, Queensland) seemingly unstoppable form was back on full display as the 2021 season got underway Friday night at the Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton, Queensland. Delivering a monstrous 90-point ride in the opening round of competition for the Monster Energy Tour event, Kleier captured the PBR Rockhampton Invitational victory, surging to an early lead in the 2021 national championship race.
The 23-year-old phenom began the tour stop, part of the league’s Back to the Heartland Series, in momentous form, covering Black Tuxedo (Peter Wallace) for a head-turning 90.5 points to win Round 1.
The qualified ride, which brough the raucous Queensland crowd to its feet, was Kleier’s first aboard the powerful bovine athlete after his two prior attempts ended in a buckoff.
With the top position on the event leaderboard, Kleier drew his second familiar opponent of the event -- Call Me Joe (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls) – for his championship round showdown. Having first matched up against the bull in December 2018, Kleier covered Call Me Joe for 82 points that year en route to his victory in Adelaide.
In a repeat of history, Kleier once again made the 8 aboard the bull to clinch an event win, this time marked 88 points to cement his victory at the PBR Rockhampton Invitational.
For his efforts, Kleier earned 77 national points and is now the No. 1 ranked rider in the early 2021 PBR Australia National Championship race.
Should he win the national title a historic fourth consecutive time in 2021, Kleier would tie David Kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for most Australian national titles won by one rider in league history. Kennedy topped the national standings in 2009-2010, 2012 and 2014.
As the only other rider to go a perfect 2-for-2, seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) finished second, earning 61 national points. He is now ranked No. 2 in the national standings, 16 points behind the top position.
The silver finish reignited the fierce battle between Richardson and Kleier that was witnessed throughout the duration of the 2020 season.
After the titans were embroiled in a season-long battle atop the national standings, the race came to a heartbreaking end at the 2020 PBR Australia Grand Finals when a hematoma sidelined Richardson for the final day of the season, preventing him from contending for his first national title. He concluded the year No. 2 in the national standings, a mere 58 points behind Kleier.
With the Rockhampton Invitational marking Richardson’s first PBR event back since sustaining the injury, he was back to his winning ways.
First riding Slink E Malinki (JD Bucking Bulls) for 85 points in Round 1, Richardson punctuated the tour stop with a championship round win, earned courtesy of his 89.5-point effort aboard Reloaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls).
Lane Mellers (Mundubbera, Queensland) was third, earning 42 national points.
Marking the first qualified ride of the season-launch event, the 22-year-old’s bronze effort was headlined by an 88-point ride aboard Big Bang Theory (BK Bucking Bulls) in Round 1.
Mellers is now ranked No. 3 in the PBR Australia national standings, 35 points behind No. 1 Kleier.
In his PBR debut, Macaulie Leather (Calliope, Queensland) surged to an early lead in the 2021 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year race, finishing fourth and netting 19 national points.
Leather made a statement in Round 1 when he covered Iron Jacket (Peter Wallace) for 86 points.
Attempting to join an elite club of first-year professionals to win their debut event, Leather’s hopes for victory came to a heartbreaking end in the championship round when Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) brought him down in a close 6 seconds.
The young gun is now No. 4 in the national standings, 48 points removed from the No. 1 position.
Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Rockhampton’s own Caiden Sandilands (Rockhampton, Queensland).
Sandilands rode Dunya Jacket (BK Bucking Bulls) for 82.5 points in Round 1 to earn 14 national points.
Rising to No. 5 in the Australian national standings, Sandilands is within 63 points of No. 1 Kleier.
In the bull pen, Cattle King Boogers Beach was the high-marked bull of the event. The Dittmann Bucking Bulls’ bovine athlete earned the honor courtesy of his trip with Leathers when he posted an event-leading 45-point score.
Fans can relive all the action from the 2021 season-launch PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Rockhampton Invitational, part of the Back to the Heartland Series, on RidePass starting at 8:00 a.m. AEST on Saturday, May 8 at RidePass.com or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.
The 2021 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour season will continue on May 8 when the Back to the Heartland Series remains in Rockhampton, Queensland, for the second iteration of the PBR Rockhampton Invitational. Action at the Great Western Hotel will get underway at 7:00 p.m. AEST.
Tickets for the second event of the 2021 season are still available, and can be purchased at www.tix.pbraustralia.com.au, or fans can watch all the action LIVE on RidePass.
Stay tuned to PBRAustralia.com.au for the latest event information.
PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour – PBR Rockhampton Invitational 1
Great Western Hotel – Rockhampton, Queensland
Event Leaders (Round 1- Round 2-Event Aggregate-Payout-Australian Points-World Points)
1. Aaron Kleier, 90.5-88-178.5-$2,653.20-77-15
2. Lachlan Richardson, 85-89.5-174.5-$1,861.20-61-8
3. Lane Mellers, 88-0-88-$1,148.40-42-7
4. Macaulie Leather, 86-0-86-$660-29-4
5. Caiden Sandilands, 82.5-0-82.5-$277.20-14-3
6. Taran Chirgwin, 82-0-82-$0-8-2
7. Trefor Sproule, 81.5-0-81.5-$0-6-1
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Cody Heffernan, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Jake Curr, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Joseph Down, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Ty Thomson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Kelsey Pavlou, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Lachlan Slade, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Zane Hall, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Michael Smith, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Beau Willis, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Thomas Hudson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Joshua Jones, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Jono Couling, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Sam Spencer, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Jack Cameron, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Isaac Leclair, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Luke Parkinson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Ben Graving, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Clay Hall, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Dan Ruhland, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Bryn Francis, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Wyatt Milgate, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0
Chris Wilson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0-0