By The Numbers: K Ranch TPD 2023
By: Sean Walsh Friday, September 29, 2023 @ 9:02 AM
We return to the picturesque K Ranch Arena in Mount Hunter, NSW this weekend for the K-Ranch Tour Pro Division event after the event last year was a highlight on the PBR Australia calendar. With four of the top five ranked bull riders in the country slated this weekend and $20k prize-money up for grabs, the stakes will be high for the two nights three round party.
PBR Australia's Sean Walsh gives you everything you need know in this week's edition of By The Numbers.
Matchups To Watch
Beau Willis on Vertical Limits (Lazy G Bucking Bulls)
PBR veteran Beau Willis is currently sitting 31st in the PBR Australia standings and on the bubble of Grand Final qualification, with this weekend's event presenting itself as a fantastic opportunity for the Bowen, QLD cowboy to scoot up the standings.
His Round 1 dance partner Vertical Limits is 3/15 in his career for an average bull score of 41.40, with the only right hander to cover the bull being Lachlan Richardson for 84 points in last years big dance.
Vertical Limits has a consistent trip of coming out faking or half turning to the left and then settling turning back to the right, which will be into Willis' hand and if he is able to find the whistle, expect a mid 80s score for Willis to set up his weekend nicely.
Zane Hall on Rocky (Shultz / JR Cattle Partnership)
The 2023 Rookie of the Year race is heating up and Athol, QLD rising star Zane Hall is right among the candidates to take home the $15 k bonus at season's end, after ticking over 10 qualified rides on the year in Rockhampton last weekend.
Rocky has had a nice start to his own PBR career, currently unbeaten in 8 outs with an average BOT of 2.58 seconds and a 40.17 Bull Score to boast.
With the bovine starting to show some consistency of a big few jumps into the arena to clear the gate and then turning back to the left, I wouldn't be surprised if the red hot Hall breaks into Rocky's perfect record with a nice trip into the southpaw's wheelhouse.
Macaulie Leather on Crackalackin (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls)
In the sport of Bull Riding you are once in a while blessed with a matchup that is the best vs the best and this battle is certainly one of those instances.
Macaulie Leather is 144 points clear at the top of the standings for 2023, having a whopping 27 qualified rides and six event wins across the season thus far and looking to further press ahead of the closing Sam Woodall.
The other part of this 8 second equation isn't too shabby either with Crackalackin sitting on a 9 out buckoff streak himself, owning seven bull scores north of 43 in the past few years and having only been covered twice (Brady Fielder 82.5 points in 2019 & Lane Mellers 86 points in 2021) in twenty-five outs.
Expect the bovine athlete to show plenty of air and intensity straight from the moment the chute gate rips open and settle into his clockwise trip, setting Leather up with a huge opportunity to get a really good bull away from his hand and reach for that magical 90-point mark.
Romario Leite on Say When (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls)
The Brazilian dynamo Romario Leite is another rider who is looking to shore up his plane ticket to Townsville for the last weekend of the season and has his work cut out to gain a score in Round 2, with Say When as a dance partner.
The Throsby and Russell animal athlete has only been covered once in his twelve trips to date, with JC Davis converting in Sydney earlier this year for 84.5 points, but with an average bull score of less than 40 points a trip this season, Leite will fancy his chances.
The Cowboy's last qualified ride in Maitland was a nice 81-point effort on No Deal (ST Bucking Bulls) on a trip away from his hand, which looks to be a similar trip he will face here in Round 2.
James Stockdale on Village Idiot (Diamond S Bucking Bulls)
James Stockdale has shot onto the scene in 2023 and leading contender for elusive PBR Australia Rookie of the Year buckle. This Round 2 matchup should be one that's a fight right down to the whistle between bovine and bull rider.
The Dubbo product enjoyed a really nice weekend in Maitland, going 2/2 (82 on Night Fury and 83.5 on Everest) to book a trip to the pay window and will be hoping to replicate that Friday evening.
Village Idiot has been covered three times in eight trips and is looking better and better each out, settling into his clockwise route which is extremely rider friendly and will be into Stockdale's hand.
These two will put their Newcastle Origin matchup in the rearview as a null and void, this one should be a fantastic 8 seconds.
Jack Keats on Kick Start My Heart (Diamond S Bucking Bulls)
Another really great battle of a young bovine finding his feet in the big show and a cowboy who is looking for every point possible to slide up the rankings.
Keats is the 29th ranked PBR Australia rider currently 3/28 on the season, with a 10.7% riding conversion rate and will be looking to chalk up a few this weekend to move north of that #25 spot in the standings.
Kick Start My Heart has been taken the whole way twice in fifteen outs and is the one of those bulls that you don't know what you going to get when the chute gate opens, with the ability to either direction and with no real rhythm or consistency.
Both riders who have gained qualified rides on the bovine are right handers (Lachlan Richardson and Tyson Smith) so if the righty Keats is able to weather the storm, expect a nice score for the Cloncurry cowboy.
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