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New England Trio on the Cusp of Bull Riding Glory

11/18/2010

2010 PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDERS NATIONAL FINALS
TAMWORTH, NSW
NOVEMBER 26 & 27, 2010

New England Trio on the Cusp of Bull Riding Glory

The toughest sport on dirt, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), returns to Tamworth next weekend (November 26 & 27), for the 2010 PBR National Finals, with three New England cowboys leading the charge.


Uralla’s Chris Lowe and Duncan Elks and Upper Horton’s Troy Wilkinson all ride into Tamworth placed within the top ten of the PBR Australia season standings, with Lowe and Wilkinson both within striking distance of series leader David Kennedy.


It’s been a landmark season for the New England bull riders, with four of the season’s eleven PBR Challenger series events being won by the New South Welshmen.


PBR Australia President and 1998 PBR World Champion Troy Dunn agrees, that despite Kennedy holding a 650 point lead going into next weekend’s final, both Lowe and Wilkinson have a debut championship within reach.


“Either of those boys could be taking home the $5000 champion’s bonus next weekend,” Mr Dunn explained. “Both Chris and Troy have been riding the good bulls this year and either of them could be the next PBR Australia champion.”


To be held over two nights on Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27 at Tamworth’s world-class livestock events facility, the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), the 2010 PBR National Finals pits five top-ranked professional bull riders from the United State’s elite Built Ford Tough Series against 25 of Australia’s bravest athletes.


PBR Australia series leader and reigning national champion David Kennedy from Kyogle, NSW is looking to win back to back Australian titles. Kennedy has been the model of consistency this season and if he secures his second consecutive championship next weekend it will be a credit to his mental application as much as his natural ability.


Five of the 25 Aussies on show next weekend are based in the US, where they compete alongside the internationals in the Built Ford Tough Series. Brendon Clark, Ben Jones, Jason O’Hearn and brothers Jared and Pete Farley have made the trip home to show off their sublime bovine busting skills to the Tamworth crowd.


With the nation’s fiercest beasts and the world’s toughest athletes combined with rock concert-style music, lighting and pyrotechnics, monster video screens for instant replays and the wall-to-wall excitement of a PBR show, the 2010 PBR National Finals is one sporting event not to be missed. Tickets are still available but selling fast for both nights, so fans are advised to purchase their seats in advance to avoid disappointment.


2010 Professional Bull Riders National Finals

Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC)
503 Goonoo Goonoo Rd, Hillvue (Tamworth), NSW
November 26 & 27, 8.00pm
Tickets from: Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or www.visittamworth.com
Ticket Prices: Platinum $80, Gold $60, Silver $40, Bronze $20 (Bronze now sold out)

Five Of The Best Locally-based Australian Riders:

David Kennedy (Kyogle, NSW – PBR Australia season standings #1 – 3906 points)
Twenty-six-year-old David Kennedy has over the past two years developed into the most consistent competitor on the PBR Australia tour. 2009 was Kennedy’s watershed year with Professional Bull Riders, taking out the PBR Australia national title and representing Australia in the PBR World Cup in ’09 and ’10. Kennedy is in sparkling form, having ridden eight bulls from nine attempts in PBR events since returning from a two-month injury layoff.With eight top ten finishes from eleven starts this season, including three event victories, Kennedy is in the box seat to win back to back Aussie titles.

Chris Lowe (Uralla, NSW – PBR Australia season standings #2 – 3256 points)
Twenty-five-year-old Chris Lowe from the New England high country town of Uralla is regarded by many experts as one of the most talented bull riders in Australia. Although a regular competitor with other associations, 2010 is the first year in which Lowe has consistently tested his talent against the nation’s finest bucking bulls in the Professional Bull Riders Challenger Series. And his results speak for themselves – nine top ten finishes from eleven starts including two event wins, leaving him in the number two position at the end of the domestic season.

Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW – PBR Aust season standings #3 – 2977 points)
Nineteen-year-old Troy Wilkinson from the New England’s Upper Horton has had a rollercoaster 2010 season but still finds himself in third place on the PBR Australia standings. Wilkinson started the season with a third and a second before falling into a lengthy slump. Over the past couple of months, however, the teen sensation has found his rhythm and comes into the PBR National Finals in a rich vein of form. Look out for a strong showing on his home turf.

Jim Rowsell (Goondiwindi, Qld – PBR Australia season standings #4 – 2619 points)
Twenty-four-year-old Jim Rowsell from Goondiwindi, western Queensland is one of the true characters of the PBR Australia tour. 2010 has without doubt been Rowsell’s most outstanding season so far, with six top ten finishes from eleven starts, including one event win (the PBR World Challenge in Brisbane). While the past couple of months have been lean pickings for the laconic Queenslander, he is still placed well within striking distance of his first PBR Australia title.

Duncan Elks (Uralla, NSW – PBR Australia season standings #9 – 1858 points)
Duncan Elks is another young bull rider having the season of his life. The 23-year-old from Uralla has five top ten finishes from eight starts this season, including event victories in Hervey Bay and Cunnamulla. With a win in the final PBR Challenger Series event of the season, Elks comes into the 2010 PBR National Finals in the best form of his career.

Five Of The Best US-based Australian Riders:

Ben Jones (Goulburn, NSW – PBR US Built Ford Tough Series ranking 18)
31-year-old Ben Jones last year made his second PBR World Finals, 11 years after his previous appearance! The 2007 PBR Australia Champion represented Australia in the 2007, 2008 and 2010 PBR World Cups and finished the US season Australia’s highest placed rider on the PBR Built Ford Tough Series at number 18. Riding high on career-best form, Jones is sure to set Tamworth’s AELEC alight with his famous chicken dance when he makes the 8-second hooter during these finals.

Brendon Clark (Morpeth, NSW – PBR US Built Ford Tough Series ranking 35)
Australia’s most experienced US-based bull rider, Brendon Clark suffered serious internal injuries early last year and, as a result, just missed the cut for the 2009 PBR World Finals. For the first half of the 2010 season Clark struggled for confidence in his riding, but since his engagement in July has enjoyed his best form in several years. Brendon Clark is a six times World Finals Qualifier, has represented Australia in three PBR World Cups and has accumulated more than US$800,000 in career earnings. Look out for some typically tough, gritty bull riding from the Hunter Valley’s most famous cowboy.

Pete Farley (Kempsey, NSW – PBR US Built Ford Tough Series ranking 39)
2010 has been a season of highs and lows for PBR Australia’s 2008 champion. Turning 22 next Tuesday (Nov 22), the youngest of the three Farley brothers entered a massive 66 bull rides in the US this year for only one event win and four other top ten finishes. Pete Farley, however, is a big game player and when he was handed a wild card entry to the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas he stepped up and rode three of the best bucking bulls on the planet, finishing in tenth place. With that amazing experience under his belt, Pete Farley is definitely one to watch in Tamworth.

Jason O’Hearn (Rothbury, NSW – PBR US Built Ford Tough Series ranking 51)
Thirty-year-old Jason O’Hearn from the New South Wales Hunter Valley town of Rothbury is a seasoned veteran of the bull riding sport but a relative newcomer to the spotlight of Professional Bull Riders. O’Hearn has spent the past few years riding on the US PBR Challenger circuit and finished the 2009 season just short of making the PBR World Finals. This year O’Hearn was chosen to represent Australia in the PBR World Cup and made his PBR World Finals debut thanks to a run of consistent form on both the Touring Pro and Built Ford Tough circuits. This is O’Hearn’s first PBR Australia Finals appearance.

Jared Farley (Kempsey, NSW – PBR US Built Ford Tough Series ranking 56)
Another member of the Farley brothers trio of bull riders (older brother Denny also rides on the PBR Australia Challenger Series) Jared returned in November last year from a lengthy injury lay-off, with immediately strong results at the PBR Australia National Finals. Jared represented Australia in the 2007 PBR World Cup, is a five-time PBR World Finalist and finished the US PBR season at number 56 on the Built Ford Tough standings.

2010 PBR NATIONAL FINALS AUSTRALIAN QUALIFIERS

Ben Jones - Goulburn, NSW
Brendon Clark - Morpeth, NSW
Jason O’Hearn - Rothbury, NSW
Jared Farley - Kempsey, NSW
Pete Farley - Kempsey, NSW
David Kennedy - Kyogle, NSW
Jim Rowsell - Goondiwindi, Qld
Chris Lowe - Uralla, NSW
Jock Connolly - Charters Towers, Qld
Matt Postle - Mundubbera, Qld
Grant Wells - Boulia, Qld
Troy Wilkinson - Upper Horton, NSW
Craig Postle - Mundubbera, Qld
Duncan Elks - Uralla, NSW
Jason Mara - Rockhampton, Qld
Tom Henry - Ebor, NSW
Rhys Angland - Wagga Wagga, NSW
Budd Williamson - Ayr, Qld
Clayton Russell - Wagga Wagga, NSW
Brett Hanrahan - Rockley, NSW
David Mason - Buladelah, NSW
Saras Ramsay - Aratula, Qld
Andrew Achilles - Fernvale, Qld
Michael Ford - Orange, NSW
Sam Larsen - Rockhampton, Qld