Two-Time PBR Australia Champion Aaron Kleier and Rookie Jackson Gray Split Victory at PBR Australia’s Bundaberg Invitational

By: Kacie Albert  Sunday, October 4, 2020 @ 12:19 PM

Aaron Kleier is now within 44 points of Australia's No. 1 Lachlan Richardson. Photo: Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media.

BRANYAN, Queensland – Marking the ninth PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Australia event of the 2020 season, two-time and reigning Australian Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland) and rookie sensation Jackson Gray (Barcaldine, Queensland) delivered matching 2-for-2 performances to split the victory at the second installment of the elite Monster Energy Tour’s PBR Bundaberg Invitational.

Fresh off a third-place finish in the opening segment of the double-header event, Kleier’s momentum continued in Round 1 of the evening event when he rode Cattle King Ray Ban (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) for a second-best 86 points.

Kleier then turned heads in the championship round when he made the 8 aboard POA Lock n Load (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) for an event-high 88.5 points.

Young gun Gray bounced back from a shutout in the first event when he won Round 1 courtesy of an 87-point trip on Get A Haircut (Diamond J Rodeo Co.).

In addition to marking the 19-year-old’s first qualified ride at the event, the 8-second effort was also the first of his PBR career, snapping a 10-out buckoff streak dating to his career debut at the second event of the 2020 season in Melbourne.

Gray then remained perfect in the championship round as he punctuated the electric event with an 87.5-point ride on Black Tuxedo (Peter Wallace).

Both riders earned a check for $2,006.40, along with 72 national points.

For Kleier, the victory, his first of the year in PBR Australia competition, allowed him to decimate Lachlan Richardson’s (Gresford, New South Wales) lead atop the national standings. Remaining No.2 in the PBR Australia rankings, Kleier slashed his 116-point deficit at the start of the event, to a slim 44 points.

Richardson, who won the afternoon event, was shutout during the evening installment of the PBR Bundaberg Invitational, bucked off by Double XL (Peter Wallace) in 5.43 seconds.  

Should Kleier once again win the PBR Australia Championship in 2020 he would become the first rider in league history to win the nation’s championship in three consecutive seasons. Additionally, Kleier would be on the precipice of tying David Kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for winningest rider in Australian history. Kennedy is a four-time PBR Australia Champion, winning the title in 2009-2010, 2012 and 2014.

Kleier is also competing for the chance to earn the nation’s invite to compete at the 2020 PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour (PWVT) Finals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Nov. 6-7.

The Australian representative to the season-culminating event for the league’s U.S.-based expansion series will be the top-ranked rider in the national standings as of October 15. At the 2020 PBR PWVT Finals, the Australian invite will then have the opportunity to earn one of four berths to the 2020 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 12-15 at AT&T Stadium.

Kleier’s victory also earned him 11.5 world points. The Queensland-native maintained his No. 27 rank in the world as he looks to qualify for the first PBR World Finals of his career when the event debuts inside the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in November.  

Co-winner Gray catapulted up the national standings, surging from unranked to No. 8. He now trails No. 1 Richardson by 207 points.

Jake Curr (Mount Isa, Queensland) was third, earning $1,105.80 and 48 national points as the only other rider to go a perfect 2-for-2.

The 20-year-old’s bronze finish included matching 85.5-point efforts logged aboard Suga Boom Boom (BK Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, and atop Barn Yard (Fred Kleier) in the championship round.

Ranked No. 14 at the start of the event, Curr climbed nine positions in the national standings, now No. 5 and 188.5 points behind No. 1 Richardson.

Compliments of his 84-point ride on Onion Head (Fred Kleier), Sam Woodall (Heywood, Victoria) was fourth.

Earning $342 and 26 national points, Woodall’s second Top-5 finish of the season allowed him to rise from No. 13 to No. 9 in the PBR Australia standings, positioning him within 208 points of the top spot.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Michael Smith (Tully, Queensland).

Smith rode Bucksnort (Peter Wallace) for 81.5 points in Round 1 to collect $239.40 and 14 national points. He is now No. 30 in the PBR Australia standings.

In the bull pen, Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) and POA Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) tied for the high-marked bull of the event after recording matching 44.5-point bull scores.

For Boogers Beach he earned the marks after besting Tyler Thomson (Mount Walker, Queensland) in 3.31 seconds in Round 1, while POA Fully Locked & Loaded wowed in the championship round when he sent Smith to the dirt in 5.88 seconds.

Boogers Beach was also the high-marked bovine athlete in the opening event in the PBR Bundaberg Invitational doubleheader. Also marked 44.5 points in the opening event, Boogers Beach earned his first top marks when he bucked off Caiden Sandilands (Rockhampton, Queensland) in the championship round.

Fans can relive all the action for the 2020 PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour’s Bundaberg Invitational on RidePass starting at 8:00 a.m. AEST on Sunday, October 4 at or via the RidePass app available on iOS, Android and Roku.

The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour is anticipated to next travel to Mackay, Queensland, and BB Print Stadium with the 2020 PBR Mackay Invitational on Saturday, October 10. The tour stop will once again feature a double-header competition, with action getting underway at both 1:00 p.m. AEST and 6:00 p.m. AEST. Stay tuned to for the latest event information.

PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour – PBR Bundaberg Invitational 2
Recreational Precinct: University Drive – Branyan, Queensland
Event Leaders (Round 1- Round 2-Event Aggregate-Payout-Australian Points)
1 (tie). Aaron Kleier, 86-88.5-174.5-$2,006.40-72
Jackson Gray, 87-87.5-174.5-$2,006.40-72
3. Jake Curr, 85.5-85.5-171-$1,105.80-48
4. Sam Woodall, 84-0-84-$342-26
5. Michael Smith, 81.5-0-81.5-$239.40-14
6. Braydon Wellby, 81-0-81-$0-8
7. Eli Bee, 80.5-0-80.5-$0-6
8. Zane Hall, 75-0-75-$0-4
Bailey Woodard, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Brady Fielder, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Brendan Buckholz, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Budd Williamson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Caiden Sandilands, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Jack Keats, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Jay Borghero, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Josh Cavanagh, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Kurt Shephard, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Lachlan Richardson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Lane Mellers, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Lawson Nobbs, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Matt Hollis, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Ty Thomson, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Sam Champ, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Brumby Brandenburg, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Ben Gard, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Dan Ruhland, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Kelsey Pavlou, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Jack McArthur, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Clay Hall, 0-0-0.00-$0-0
Lucas Mackenzie, 0-0-0.00-$0-0