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PBR Australian Bull Riding Champion makes it an historic three-times title
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia: 27 year old David Kennedy from Kyogle (NSW) made history at the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Australian Cup Series National Finals at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Saturday night, becoming the Australian Champion for a record-breaking third time.
“I came here to ride bulls and I got the job done,” said a clearly pleased, and relieved, Kennedy, whose win scores him automatic entry into the million dollar PBR World Finals in Las Vegas this October.
USA bull rider, 20 year old Chase Outlaw from Hamburg, Arizona, took the Sydney event, notching up his second PBR Australian Cup Series win after taking out the Brisbane Invitational the week before.
“I’m just having fun,” Outlaw said of his blistering form. “I don’t think about it too much, as soon as I start to think it all goes south.”
19 year old Lachlan Richardson from Gressford (NSW) was named Rookie Of The Year, whilst John Gill & Sons Akubra Suicidal took Highest-Marked Bull Of The Event and Dunne Bulls’ That’s Gold, the three-time Brisbane bull event Champion, was named 2012 PBR Australian Champion Bucking Bull, second year running.
Kennedy, the PBR Australian Champion title-holder in 2009 and 2010, lost ground in 2011 due to injury, but returned to form well ahead of the pack this season, despite a race at the end between himself and Aussie young gun, Richardson.
Richardson, who returned from an outstanding debut on the USA circuit to close the gap on Kennedy, lost acceleration when he didn’t score in Brisbane and failed to cover his first bull at the Sydney Finals.
The drop kept Kennedy in the lead and may have been the reason the Dad of three chanced his reride option in the second round of the Sydney event and kept his 67 points on George Hempenstall’s Nonsense.
Although Kennedy thought the score was higher, “I thought they said 77”—combined with his moderate 78 on L&M Rodeo Co’s Hectic in the first , the 145 was sufficient to get him to the Championship round.
Kennedy chose a bull which had made its PBR debut the weekend before in Brisbane, Stuart Timm’s Delta 32, and hit a home run for 86 points and a total of 231.
Richardson covered John Gill & Sons’ Buck Owens for 85 points in the second, but it wasn’t enough in the Sydney competition and he was out of the Championship round. However, alongside Ben Jones (who covered L&M Rodeo Co’s The Down Side for 82 in the first), Richardson is one of only two Aussie bull riders qualified in the Top40 for the PBR World Finals and is one to keep an eye on.
Defending 2011 Australian Champion, 33 year old Jock Connolly from Charters Towers (QLD), went into the Sydney Finals injured and rode with two broken bones in his right hand and a damaged elbow. Demonstrating the true-grit of his do-or-die attitude, he fired an incredible 85.5 on Dunne Bulls’ Tap Out in the first, but lost out to John Gill & Sons’ White Lightening in the second.
“The fact Jock rode at all shows you the kind of gutsy bull rider he is,” said PBR President and Australia’s only bull riding World Champion, Troy Dunn. “He’s a winner no matter which way you look at it.”
Only Kennedy and Outlaw covered three bulls in the Sydney competition and Outlaw’s form was electric from the start. He scored equal 86 aboard George Hempenstall’s Planet Hollywood in the first and Dunne Bulls’ Bowie in the second. He entered the championship round top of the leader board with 172 points.
Outlaw chose Russell Bulls’ Get Rich Quick, “’cos that’s what I’m here to do, get rich quick”, in the Championship draft and stuck to him for 85 points. Outlaw finished the night the event winner with a total of 257 points, 26 ahead of Kennedy.
Four riders covered both their long-go bulls: Aussie Chris Lowe, Canada’s Zane Lambert and the USA’s Harve Stewart and Zack Brown.
Brown had a killer night, leading early with 84 points on John Gill and Sons’ Brown Bomber and rounding it out with 87.5 on Russell Bulls’ Navaho in the second. George Hempenstall’s Maximum Destruction did what it was named to do in the Championship and put the Texas cowboy on the ground early, leaving him with a total of 171.5 for the night.
In front of a home-town crowd, Lowe, from Uralla (NSW), was second out of the chutes and the first to score with 82.5 on L&M Rodeo Co’s Rattlehead. He went 85 on another L&M Rodeo Co bull Navigator in the second, but the bull he’d been on before and “felt real good”, John Gill & Sons’ Akubra Suicidal, didn’t feel so good downing him in the Championship round. Lowe finished equal with Canada’s Zane Lambert on 167.5 points.
Lambert was awarded a reride on L&M Rodeo Co’s Adrenalin in the first and locked up 80 points on L&M Rodeo Co’s City Homicide. He covered George Hempenstall’s powerhouse Lab Rat for 87.5, but Stuart Timm’s Zee Force, ridden only once before (by NZ’s Fraser Babbington at the Sydney event last year), got the better of him in the Championship round.
Another Texas cowboy, Harve Stewart let it go with 82 points on L&M Rodeo Co’s Off The Chain and 83 on George Hempenstall’s Goblin. In a brazen move, Stewart picked PBR Champion Bucking Bull, Dunne Bulls’ That’s Gold because “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t confident”, but the bull did the business and Stewart finished with 165 points.
The night’s highest scoring ride went to Oklahoma cowboy, 23 year old Ryan Dirteater for 88 points aboard Dunne Bulls’ Hang Tough in the second and was enough to get him to the Championship round. He chose Dunne Bulls’s Inmate to “try my luck”, but his luck ran out and he finished seventh in the night’s competition.
Colorado cowboy Jory Markiss deposited the first round’s highest score for 86.5 on Dunne Bulls’ Globe Trotter but Aussie Brendon Clark equalled it on Russell Bulls’ Tough All Over in the second.
The decision went to the judges and Clark made the Championship round where he was left with John Gill & Sons’ Warchief in the Draft. “I feel like I’ve already won,” laughed Clark, having convinced Dirteater to take the bull he didn’t want to get on. The bull unseated him and Clark finished in the eighth spot.
A 6,000-plus crowd cheered their heroes in the three-hour, adrenalin-pumped, dirt-kicking Final which will return in 2013.
The 2012 PBR Australian Cup Series was a three-stop competition tour, which kicked off at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on July 7, stirred up the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on July 14 and finished with the National Finals at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Saturday night (July 21).
2012 National Finals Results:
2012 Australian Champion: Dave Kennedy, Kyogle NSW.
2012 PBR Australia Rookie of the Year: Lachlan Richardson, Gresford NSW.
2012 PBR Australia Bucking Bull of the Year: That’s Gold owned by Trevor & Tony Dunne.
2012 PBRA National Finals Champion: Chase Outlaw, Hamburg, AR USA
2012 National Finals Bullfighters: Shane Simpson, Daryl Chong, Mitch Russell.
Long Go #1
Contestant Stock Score
Jory Markiss Globe Trotter 86.5
Chase Outlaw Planet Hollywood 86
Jock Connolly Tap Out 85.5
Zack Brown Brown Bomber 84
Sam O'Connor Monkey Magic 84
Chris Lowe Rattlehead 82.5
Ben Jones The Down Side 82
Harve Stewart Off The Chain 82
Zane Lambert Adrenalin 80
Dave Kennedy Hectic 78
Long Go #2
Contestant Stock Score
Ryan Dirteater Hang Tough 88
Zane Lambert Lab Rat 87.5
Zack Brown Navaho 87.5
Brendon Clark Tough All Over 86.5
Chase Outlaw Bowie 86
Jesse Van Nek Hollywood Boulevard 85.5
Jason O'Hearn Dark Nights 85.5
Chris Lowe Navigator 85
Lachlan Richardson Buck Owens 85
Jason Mara Walkin Tall 84.5
SHORT GO (Championship Round)
Contestant Stock Score
Dave Kennedy That's Gold 86
Chase Outlaw Warchief 85
Ryan Dirteater Akubra Suicidal 0
Zack Brown Inmate 0
Harve Stewart Delta 32 0
Brendon Clark Zee Force 0
Chris Lowe Get Rich Quick 0
Zane Lambert Maximum Destruction 0
Contestant Hometown Score
Chase Outlaw Arizona, USA 257.0
Dave Kennedy Kyogle, NSW 231.0
Zack Brown Rio Branco, BRA 171.5
Chris Lowe Uralla, NSW 167.5
Zane Lambert Alberta, CAN 167.5
Harve Stewart Texas, USA 165.0
Ryan Dirteater Oklahoma, USA 88.0
Brendon Clark Morpeth, NSW 86.5
Jory Markiss Colorado, USA 86.5
Jesse Van Nek Rockhampton, Qld 85.5
Jason O'Hearn Rothbury, NSW 85.5
Jock Connolly Charters Towers, Qld 85.5
© PBR Australia, Inc. 2013