Clermont cowboy in the ring
CENTRAL Queensland cowboys have booked their place to compete at the nation's biggest Professional Bull Riding event of the year - the crowning PBR Grand Finals in Townsville on November 23 and 24.
Off the back of an impressive year of performances on the 2018 PBR Australia Tour, Clermont's Aaron Kleier, Nebo brothers Mitchell andJustin Paton and Mackay's Ryan Storey have officially made the top-18 Australian rider cut-off to qualify for the pinnacle year-end event.
Twenty-year-old sensation Kleier has led the Australian Standings throughout 2018, following a breakout 2017 season that saw him crowned Rookie of the Year and narrowly pipped to the PBR Australia title.
Kleier grew up attending rodeos from a young age, as well as riding horses and mustering cattle on the 22,000ha beef farm that his parents run.
PBR Australia general manager Glen Young said all riders had their eyes on the prize.
"The fight for the Aussie title is at full throttle pace - it's down to the wire,” he said.
"All of the riders are dialled in and have their eye on the prize - so we expect to see some exceptional efforts as the front-runners fight for supremacy.”
Since the inception of the PBR in Townsville nearly two decades ago, more than $1 million in prizemoney has been paid out.
Kleier, the Patons and Storey will be looking to secure their piece of the pie on November 23 and 24 with stand-out performances to round out their 2018 seasons.
The event attracts 18 of Australia's top riders, as well as four key internationals, for a head-to-head battle that will ultimately decide the 2018 PBR Australia National Champion title.
The local contingent joins a stellar field in the PBR Grand Finals line-up, alongside almost every top rider on the current Australian Standings, including NSW hero CliffRichardson (No.2), 2015 PBR Australia Champion Fraser Babbington (No.3) and 2016 PBR Australian title holder Cody Heffernan (No.4).
International riders confirmed in the Townsville line-up include former Brazilian No.2 Lucas Divino and fellow Brazilian riders Junior Quaresima and Rubens Barbosa.
Tickets are on sale for the Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals in Townsville at www.tecc.net.au.